“We’ve been working with the state of Florida, and they’re preparing themselves to be able to provide audits that will, to my knowledge, meet all of the demands of the customer base that are out there with a single audit,” he said.
A new sliding fee structure will reflect various levels, Brown said, allowing grower and packers to choose based on customer requirements.
“It’s been a long time coming and it will probably be a bit buggy for the first cycle of this process, but it’s achievable,” he said.
Wes Roan, food safety quality control manager for Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman, praised the efforts.
“Everyone would love to have one audit, and I hope that can be a reality,” Roan said.
But he said he had concerns whether some buyers would become picky about the entity conducting the audit.