Interview with Martin Berman, Managing Director at Micro-Pak
The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America interviewed Martin Berman, managing director at Micro-Pak, at an event in Shenzen, China over the summer. His responses explained the need for a robust, year-round plan to prevent mold on footwear. We followed up for further insight on this and other pressing issues faced by factories, distributors and retailers.
What are the key elements of a year-round mold prevention plan?
The key to a year-round mold prevention program is consistency. Mold prevention policies and systems must be followed throughout the year and not just suddenly when the rainy season begins. This is why Micro-Pak technicians visit factories continuously, regardless of season.
What is the most important thing to keep in mind during the rainy season?
During the rainy season, the focus must be on checking for any signs of mold. This includes on raw materials, in-process goods and on any stored merchandise. The stored merchandise check is especially important for any goods held for more than two weeks before shipment, as it’s much easier to remove mold while goods are still in the factory than after they have been distributed to the stores. Micro-Pak has developed a long-term storage checking program and can work with factories to implement this type of plan.
What should retailers or manufacturers be on the lookout for in suppliers to ensure end-to-end quality?
It all comes down to process control. This principle applies to mold prevention in the same way that it does to general production. Suppliers need to have a mold prevention process in place and follow this process starting with incoming raw materials right through to shipment. Micro-Pak can assist the manufacturers with this.
Is climate change impacting seasonal mold, and what does that mean for the industry?
Climate change is definitely a factor affecting seasonal mold. The world’s climate is getting hotter, and many areas are seeing more rain, and that means a significantly higher risk of mold. As a result, mold prevention programs need to be intensified to avoid mold issues
Are there training or education options available if I want to learn more?
Micro-Pak is a big advocate for mold prevention training. We hold more than thirty multi-lingual mold prevention seminars per year and will soon be launching our online training program. We strongly encourage every factory to have a “mold prevention expert” on staff who regularly looks for ways to avoid mold problems. Micro-Pak can assist with this specialized training.