IARW and WFLO Expand their International Presence

The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) continue their successful international development programs through establishing and enhancing professional and working relationships with industry colleagues and organizations beyond their membership. As a major component of this initiative, IARW and WFLO have assisted in the establishment of cold chain associations globally, including the Shanghai Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, Chinese Association of Refrigeration, Japan Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and, more recently, the Vietnam Cold Chain Group, Cold Chain Association of the Philippines, Egyptian Cold Chain Association, Turkish Cold Chain Association and the Union of Ukrainian Associations.

IARW and WFLO assist the associations it has helped create to enhance post harvest and processing technologies, set standards, implement food safety and sanitation procedures and broaden the cold chain market potential for its membership. Strong associations enable the industry to improve standards, advance the interests of members and provide more efficient warehousing services. It also allows for collection and sharing of statistical information and exchange of ideas.

WFLO, through a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service grant, recently held an international cold chain conference in Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this project, WFLO published a Southern African edition of the textbook Successful Refrigerated Warehousing, a South African Cold Chain Resource Directory, and an interactive distance learning program on basic food handling methods. These efforts have extended to the Philippines through a similar project with USDA. IARW and WFLO have also participated with USDA in a series of conferences on “Maintaining the Cold Chain,” educating businessmen in the emerging markets of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Egypt, Indonesia and Greece. Similarly, WFLO has entered into a multi-year agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Louisiana State University to lend its expertise in technical training, association building, and proper handling of food products in the former Soviet satellite countries of Ukraine and Moldova.

All these new activities were initiated by the IARW and WFLO boards as part of a strategic plan that seeks to improve food distribution in developing countries and ultimately increase the level of proficiency of the refrigerated services industry around the world.

The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, a non-profit trade association, headquartered in suburban Washington, DC, with offices in Europe and Asia, represents the refrigerated services industry including warehousing, distribution, transportation, information, and logistics companies. Members of IARW play a central role in the storage and distribution of perishable foods around the globe, making it possible for citizens to enjoy a wide variety of nutritious, safe and affordable food products. Members of IARW are served by a scientific advisory council comprised of leading food scientists.

In related news, the IARW has announced its 2003 International Top 20 and North American Top 20 Public Refrigerated Warehouse and Distribution Companies listed by total refrigerated space. Demonstrating the strength of the industry, the combined space of the International Top 20 is nearly 1.5 billion cubic feet (nearly 42 million cubic meters) and the North American Top 20 is more than 1 billion cubic feet (30 million cubic meters). IARW members represent the overwhelming majority of public refrigerated warehouse space worldwide and in North America.

For more information about these projects, membership or further information about these organizations, contact the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and the World Food Logistics Organization; www.iarw.org.

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