Associated Food Stores (AFS) is proud to announce that Mike Horspool, quality control coordinator, and Leigh Vaughn, director of produce, recently attended a USDA Specialty Crop Inspections training in Fredericksburg, Virginia and sponsored by the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association (IFPA). This comprehensive training has equipped them with new insights and best practices, paving the future for improved produce quality management throughout AFS. 

One of the key areas covered in the training was the importance of accurate and informed purchasing using precise measurement terms. Mike and Leigh gained valuable knowledge of terminology related to produce measurements, enabling them to make more informed decisions when selecting the best produce for all AFS retailers. This enhanced understanding will result in more consistent and superior quality across member stores. 

The training introduced innovative measurement techniques to ensure only the finest produce is purchased. Armed with these techniques, Mike and Leigh will implement improved baseline measurements that establish a quality standard for the produce AFS procures. By adhering to these standards, Associated Food Stores can ensure every piece of produce continues to meet the highest quality criteria. 

Looking ahead, the company will introduce a new weekly training meeting focused on produce quality control and management. This ongoing training initiative will enable Associated Food Stores to continually enhance its expertise and maintain excellence in providing superior produce to retailers. By keeping teams updated on the latest industry practices and standards, AFS ensures a consistent commitment to quality throughout the organization. 

Leigh shared his thoughts on the company’s dedication to providing the best possible service for member retailers. He expressed his gratitude, saying, “We are committed to ensuring that our retailers receive only the highest quality produce. The training we received through the USDA Specialty Crop Inspections has further strengthened our resolve to continually raise the bar. We appreciate the trust our retailers place in us and will continue to exceed their expectations.” 

With a renewed focus on accurate purchasing, improved measurement techniques, ongoing training, and a commitment to excellence, Associated Food Stores is poised to deliver unparalleled produce quality and elevate the shopping experience for retailers. By prioritizing education and embracing industry best practices, Associated Food Stores remains dedicated to being a leader in the field, consistently delivering the freshest and finest produce to customers.