ADT protects the food supply

Food security: if you make it, ship it, buy it or process it, you’re affected
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT Commercial is formalizing a specialty it’s had for a number of years into a new vertical market: food defense.

One of the reasons for this move is the passage, earlier this year, of The Food Safety Modernization Act, which represents the first major legislative overhaul of food production oversight since the 1930s.

Included in the new law are requirements for food manufacturers and suppliers to identify potential problem areas and outline ways to prevent or circumvent those areas of concern.

The legislation affects “manufacturers, processors and distributors,” Hank Monaco, VP commercial marketing for ADT, told Security Systems News.

“Since we have the ability, with our scale, to protect each of those elements [we’re working with] those customers to help them establish standards and best practices,” he said.

Monaco said the food industry has an 18-month window to comply with the law. ADT already works with many in the food industry, but there is great variation in terms of degree of compliance with the new law, he said. “Some have a way to go before they’re up to speed, others are close to being in compliance,” he explained.

ADT provides a variety of technology to food industry customers including access control, video surveillance and alarm point notification. For this effort, ADT has also partnered with Arrowsight, a provider of remote video auditing services and software.

Video auditing is a great way to comply with the law, but it has side benefits as well, he said. For example, customers tend to discover internal best practices and gain operating efficiencies.

Internally, ADT has a cross-functional team working on food defense strategy including sales, technical, engineering, project managers and solutions developers. ADT has also hired a new marketing director to lead this new strategy. Monaco said that although food security is a new vertical “it’s also a horizontal,” It’s not just food producers who are affected. He pointed out that unlike banking or retail, where a certain type of facility is secured, with food defense security, “if you make it, ship it, buy it or process it, you’re affected,”

Monaco said “thousands of facilities” across the U.S. (and some abroad as well) are affected by the legislation. “We’re prioritizing those who will get the biggest benefit,” he said, noting that manufacturers of “iconic” food brands have very high risk if their brand is compromised.

ADT is hosting an event later this month at its new Integrated Solutions Center in Aurora, Colo. that will bring together food manufacturers, consultants and experts to discuss pending legislation, new technologies and best practices. ADT is certified by DHS’s SAFETY Act, which means that ADT customers have legal protection in the event of a terrorist attack.