According to the International Air Transport Association, interest is growing in a new industry certification program for handling and transport by air of perishable goods. The trade organization launched the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Fresh in March 2019 as a way to standardize procedures and best practices to globally meet exacting customer and regulatory requirements for fast transit and temperature management.
The goal is to give shippers confidence that certified companies have protocols in place to ensure fresh meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers and other delicate products, are delivered unspoiled. As more parties in the supply chain strengthen their cold chain capabilities the more shipments will retain their integrity. Perishable goods are a growth area, with higher profit margins, for an air cargo industry that is experiencing an overall slump in volumes.
Five carriers and six ground handlers are currently undergoing certification as a center of excellence for perishable logistics, IATA spokeswoman Katherine Kaczynska said.
Last month, Etihad Airways cargo arm became the second airline after Cathay Pacific Airways to achieve CEIV Fresh certification and the second after Cathay to achieve both CEIV Fresh and CEIV Pharma certification.
To become CEIV Fresh certified, companies must have personnel take a three-day IATA training course for quality control, food safety and risk management; assess shipments against an audit checklist; and conduct a final validation to close any procedural gaps discovered during the assessment. The certification is valid for three years.