The Refrigerated Foods Association mourns the loss of Martin Mitchell, who died on Dec. 19 after a four-year battle with leukemia.
Mitchell had served as the Refrigerated Foods Association’s technical director since the group’s inception in 1980. In this role, he provided technical expertise and food safety information.
Mitchell was a food scientist and entrepreneur who started working with his father in their consulting business. Subsequently, he acquired Certified Laboratories in 1972 and continued to be involved up until his death.
Mitchell was joined by his son Steven in 1994, where they worked together to grow Certified Laboratories from a small local laboratory in New York with 20 employees to what is now an international laboratory with 30-plus locations and close to 2,000 employees. Mitchell’s leadership and commitment to best-in-class service and science is still the cornerstone of the organization.
As the RFA technical director, Mitchell imparted his knowledge and guidance with the membership and fostered an environment of collaboration and trust.
He led the association’s Technical Committee, delivered the technical update at the group’s annual conference, fielded member questions through the RFA technical hotline, produced regular newsletters and updates on food safety and regulatory news and advised the board of directors.
Mitchell also sat on various boards, including the American Council of Independent Laboratories and the American Spice Trade Association.
He will most be remembered by the food industry for his kindness, his friendship, his unparalleled humor, his wisdom, his compassion and his tremendous capacity for love. He was a beloved industry leader whose legacy will live on in those who were fortunate enough to know him.
For more information about Mitchell and the RFA, visit refrigeratedfoods.org.