Food safety is of the highest importance when it comes to ensuring that consumers are protected against food-borne illnesses and common allergens. It is against this backdrop that Zambeef Products, the nation’s largest integrated cold chain food products and agribusiness, has been awarded ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System Certification for its ZamMilk, Masterpork and Zamchick plants.
The three plants join Zambeef’s Novatek Lusaka plant which already has the certification.
The ISO 22000 is an internationally recognised Food Safety Standard that is designed to harmonise the requirements for food safety management for businesses within the food chain. The standard maps out what an organisation needs to do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards (physical, chemical, biological or allergens) in order to ensure that the food it produces is safe. It also requires meeting any applicable food safety related statutory and regulatory criteria into its food safety system.
Zambeef Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Chishala Malekano explained that the certification is part of Zambeef’s commitment to the improving the safety and quality of its products.
“This is a big step for Zambeef as we continue to strive to better serve our consumers. Being the largest agribusiness company in the country carries with it a great responsibility on our part to ensure that our products are of the highest quality and this ISO 22000 gives our consumers the assurance that our food products meet the highest safety standards, and that in turn brings about improved confidence in our company’s products.” Mr Malekano said.
The certification was a plus for suppliers as well as they would now be able to provide clear specifications on raw materials and products sourced.
“Our mode of operation stays true to local sourcing of products and we aim to make sure that our people are not left out. The certification carries a ripple effect and will benefit everyone in the supply chain from producers and manufacturers right down to retailers. Being an international standard, it will help our suppliers improve the quality of raw materials and products supplied to Zambeef, which will in turn carry over into us creating safe and quality products for our consumers,” said Mr Malekano.
ISO 22000 standard also strengthens risk management controls across the food supply chain, improving the confidence of consumers and other stakeholders in the company’s ability to reduce health risks.
“Our mission is to feed the nation and hopefully our neighbouring countries and beyond. With improved confidence in our food safety systems, it opens up our potential for growth and increased profitability as a company as well as access to new market opportunities beyond our borders. This will enable proudly Zambian products to compete on the international market, which in turn will be a huge benefit to the nation in that Zambeef will contribute more to economic growth through export earnings. This will boost foreign exchange earnings and liquidity; the more liquidity there is on the market the better it is for the economy.”