Ecolab

An Interview with James “Beau” Bridwell, ACE, Business Development Manager, Ecolab

Ecolabs

APC: Tell us about Ecolab.

BB: Ecolab is a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 49,000 associates, we’re a trusted partner at nearly three million customer locations.

In 2017, Ecolab Pest Elimination acquired a trio of fumigation companies to expand its nationwide commodity fumigation capabilities, due to customer demands, and I was part of the acquired group.

APC: I see the acronym “ACE” behind your name. What does that stand for?

BB: I earned my credentials as an Associate Certified Entomologist from the Entomological Society of America in September 2018.

APC: Is that important for Ecolab?

BB: Absolutely! More and more the general public is seeking expert providers for every service. The ACE program is offered to individuals with training and professional field experience in structural pest management. It's rapidly becoming the industry-standard for pest management professionals.

I also have certifications from the National Pest Management Association and from the Departments of Agriculture in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

APC: So how does Ecolab engage with the peanut industry?

BB: Ecolab provides a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management program specifically designed for the unique needs of peanut processing and handling facilities. The program is designed to minimize pest risk, meet the requirements of third-party audits and ensure food safety. Plus, the program can be tailored with additional services based on the specific needs of each individual location – making this a truly customizable program.

APC: Specifically, how?

BB: Stored product pests breed and feed on or in grains, seeds and other stockpiled products, damaging and destroying them so they are no longer fit for consumption. They can impact businesses in many ways including product loss, lost production time, audit score deductions and reputation. By partnering with Ecolab, we can help mitigate those risks by implementing a targeted treatment program that is professionally customized to the commodity, site and specifications.

APC: How can pests impact peanut businesses?

BB: Stored product pests affecting the peanut industry are primarily Indian meal moth and the Red Flour Beetle. Rodents are also a concern to facilities.

These pests can have a major impact to businesses, as I mentioned before, including treatment and product loss, brand reputation and, more importantly, consumer complaints.

APC: The U.S. is one of the world’s leading peanut exporters. Does Ecolab get involved with exports?

BB: Ecolab fumigates shelled and unshelled peanuts for export from ports in Texas and Virginia, heading to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and China. When the peanuts are moved from cold storage into containers, we handle all processes, obtain all licenses and permits and apply proprietary and cutting-edge technologies for pest-free results.

APC: As one of our newest members, why did Ecolab join APC?

BB: APC and Ecolab share the same vision for food safety – that it’s critical to the reputations of businesses that produce or manufacture foods and to the health and well-being of people. We understand that you can’t grow your customers market share in the peanut industry without protecting the industry supply chain.

Ecolab relies on APC for their knowledge and thought leadership on food safety. They are a valuable resource to us for keeping up with the specific regulations affecting the peanut industry. This definitely helps with our capabilities and compliance to ensure peanut products arrive at their destination in the best possible condition with the proper documentation.

APC: Anything else?

BB: Ecolab is about partnering with our customers. Working together, we forge partnerships that empower our customers to win the fight against pests. In doing that, Ecolab goes beyond pest control, putting our expertise to work every day to solve the industry’s most complex pest challenges. Through our proactive people and innovative spirit, we protect our customers today, while advancing new and better solutions to protect them tomorrow.

To see how Ecolab Pest Elimination can protect your business, contact Rick DeDonato at richard.dedonato@ecolab.com.

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