Avianca Cargo has become the first airline in the Americas to achieve the IATA CEIV Fresh certification for the transport of perishable goods.

To achieve the certification, the airline had to prove to inspectors the implementation of risk and quality management, that it has trained personnel for handling perishable goods, active collaboration, transparent communication, and a standardised approach to the transportation of perishable goods.

Avianca said that its focus on perishable cargo comes as the sector represents more than 50% of its transported cargo.

This includes flowers from Colombia and Ecuador and other perishables such as fruit, fish, and meat products from Chile, Peru, Argentina, and all of Latin America to the US, Europe and the rest of the world.

Avianca Cargo chief executive Gabriel Oliva said: “At Avianca Cargo, we are constantly seeking to operate under the highest quality standards in each process we carry out, this is a highly relevant milestone and today we are very proud to receive this certification from IATA, Miami International Airport, and all our allies who are a fundamental part of the supply chain of perishable transport.

“We continue transforming our business and we want to continue being the best ally of our clients by transporting their products that are sensitive to time and temperature, under the highest quality standards.”

Peter Cerdá, vice president, regional Americas, IATA, added: “Air cargo plays a very important role for the economies in the region. In many countries, agricultural exports contribute significantly to the socio-economic development.

“Almost 70% of all goods shipped via airfreight between Latin America and North America consist of perishable products.

“Without the cooperation and collaboration of companies in the cold chain, and without harmonised global guidelines and standards followed by all, the risks of something going wrong are quite high.

“The industry has recognised this challenge and the benefits of this certification, that’s why we congratulate Avianca Cargo for taking this step and obtaining its CEIV Fresh Certification.” 

CEIV Fresh is based on the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations, which combine regulatory and operational inputs from government and industry experts.