Wild Foods gets international certification
A Gabane based company, Wild Foods, were this week the joyful recipients of a Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Point Certification (HACCAP SANS 10330:2007) certification.
The company that was established in 1988 manufactures jams, drinks, dried snacks from indigenous fruits and melons such as morula and lerotse. Some of their products such as Marula Stix, are already popular with many safari companies whose clients snack on them during game drives. Air Botswana also offers complimentary packets of Marula Stix to their passengers.
An elated Wild Foods Managing Director Frank Taylor says his company has come a long way in the business and persevered amid challenging situations. “It was not an easy journey to get to where we are today. The entire physical infrastructure of the establishment was done here and, luckily because of my scavenging habits and environmental consciousness I spent much less than I would have had I bought new material and equipment. I picked up scrap material that people were throwing away to set up the production plant and I also bought steel pots for between P30 and P50 at public auctions. Other companies sold us pieces of stainless steel at very low prices and we put it to good use,” he says.
Taylor says the HACCAP certification will give his company the much needed avenue to penetrate the international market. “Most international companies insist on products that are HACCAP certified and we are looking at the likes of Woolworths whom we have not been able to supply as we did not have the necessary standards certification.”
HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) Deputy CEO, Cosmas Moapare says it is vital for enterprises especially canteens, restaurant and other food manufacturers to implement the food management systems and achieve relevant standards. Moapare says the HACCP system helps food companies to identify specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. “HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing.
Any HACCP system is capable of accommodating change, such as advances in equipment design, processing procedures or technological developments. “It is my belief that our ability as a nation to realize the twin objectives of diversifying and growing the economy of Botswana is dependent on our ability to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of our enterprises, “ he observed.
Francois Labuschagne, the Managing Director of DQS South Africa- a German association for certification of management systems says HACCP can be applied throughout the food chain from primary production to final consumption and its implementation should be guided by scientific evidence of risks to human health.
“In addition, the application of HACCP systems can aid inspection by regulatory authorities and promote international trade by increasing confidence in food safety. The successful application of HACCP requires the full commitment and involvement of Company management and the work force.
The application of HACCP is compatible with the implementation of quality management systems, such as ISO 9001:2008 and is the system of choice in the management of food safety within such system.”
Taylor says his company is now looking at producing cosmetic oils, teas, medicines and penetrating the European Union market.