Warehousing & Logistics

Int’l Association of Refrigerated Warehouses Merges with ABIAF

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The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) in Brazil has merged with Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Armazenagem Frigorificada (ABIAF), the Brazilian temperature-controlled warehouse association. The combined organizations will be known as GCCA Brazil. After a three-year joint venture agreement, both associations have formally voted to approve the merger.

“We are excited to officially welcome ABIAF and its members into the GCCA family. The joining of our two organizations helps to strengthen the resources offered to members in Brazil,” said Matthew Ott, president and chief executive officer of the Alexandria, Virginia, USA-headquartered GCCA. “ABIAF members will have access to GCCA resources and greater exposure to a global marketplace.”

The objective of GCCA Brazil is to deliver services, resources, and programs that will add value to all Brazilian cold chain businesses and to build upon the legacy that ABIAF has created over the years. Originally established in 1979, ABIAF was recognized as Brazil’s leading association for all issues related to the cold chain, striving to provide the best services for all its members at a reasonable cost. In December 2017, GCCA and ABIAF entered into a three-year joint venture that enabled GCCA to provide additional value to the cold chain industry in Brazil.

During that time period, GCCA Brazil accomplished the following:

•Created and managed technical committees to address Food Safety Regulations, Insurance/Risk Management, and Human Resources/Employment Regulations;

•Continued to grow the annual conference with a focus on providing strategic content;

•Hosted regional roundtable discussions in strategic locations to recruit and engage members;

•Grew membership;

•Improved relationship with government officials at the Ministry of Agriculture and other industry related entities;

•Launched market intelligence tools specific to the Brazilian industry;

•And translated resources, including best practices in operations, industry promotion, and many COVID-19 related materials.

Members in Brazil and the ABIAF Board of Directors were key to the successful merger. Fabio Fonseca, the director of Friozem Logistica and past chairman of the Word Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), and Francisco Moura, the chief executive officer of SuperFrio, IARW board member and previous chairman of ABIAF, have been integral to the establishment of GCCA Brazil through their leadership and strategic advice.

“The incorporation of ABIAF by GCCA represents a great achievement for the Brazilian cold chain,” said Moura. “Despite the great job ABIAF’s founders and directors made over time, now Brazilian cold storage companies will be totally inserted in the global environment, with resources and tools to grow even more our industry.”

The GCCA staff in Brazil includes Director Isabela Perazza, who was hired in 2018, and Supervisor of Member Services Tatiana Nascimento, who was previously employed by ABIAF for 12 years. Additionally, GCCA Brazil recently hired a Government Affairs consultant to continue work on the relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture and support Brazilian members on the pursuit of specific regulations for the sector.