The Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA), along with Certified Group and much of the food industry, is mourning the loss of Martin Mitchell, who passed away on December 19, 2021 after a four-year battle with leukemia. Marty served as the Refrigerated Foods Association’s Technical Director almost since the group’s inception in 1980.
Marty 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 passing. Marty was joined by his son Steven in 1994, where they worked together to grow Certified Laboratories from a small local laboratory in NY with 20 employees to now what is an international laboratory with 30 plus locations and close to 2,000 employees. Marty’s leadership and commitment to best-in-class service and science is still the cornerstone of the organization.
As the RFA Technical Director, Marty imparted his knowledge and guidance with the membership, and fostered an environment of collaboration and trust. He lead the Association’s Technical Committee, delivered the much-anticipated 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. But beyond these immeasurable contributions, Marty was a friend to all. He will be remembered for his kindness; his friendship; his unparalleled humor; his wisdom; his compassion; and his tremendous capacity for love.
Marty also sat on various boards, including American Council of Independent Laboratories and the American Spice Trade Association, to name a few. He was a beloved industry leader whose legacy will live on in those who were fortunate enough to know him.