[Ghana] Olam becomes first West African biscuit manufacturer to earn international food safety standard
Olam, Ghana’s Nutrifoods Biscuit factory, has becpme the first biscuit manufacturing facility in West Africa to earn international recognition for compliance in food safety standards after it was awarded the Food Safety System Certification Scheme (FSSC) 22000 accreditation along with the company’s tomato paste plant in Tema.
The FSSC acknowledges that the company’s facilities have respectively focused their food safety efforts on scientific and technical initiatives, thereby providing confidence to stakeholders and regulatory bodies of their ability to identify and control food safety hazards.
Olam’s Nutrifoods Ghana Limited is the producer of three popular choice brands of biscuits – the Royal King Cracker, the Royal Milky Magic and the Perk Milk Shortcake and also produces Tasty-Tom a household tomato-mix and pasta, whose factory is one of the few in the world with can-making and canning capacity under the same roof.
The FSSC 22000 certification is a global food safety initiative (GFSI) benchmark which enjoys international recognition and worldwide credibility and offers a common language and communication for food safety across the supply chain.
The Global Food Safety Initiative itself was launched in 2000 following a number of food safety crises which resulted in consumer confidence falling to an all-time low. The GFSI benchmarks the various food safety standards against a basic set of criteria and standards that meet the criteria are accordingly recognized.
This work is accomplished through collaboration amongst the world’s leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing and food service companies as well as from international organisations, government agencies, academia and service providers to the global food industry.
Nutrifoods Ghana Limited is widely acknowledged as the leading biscuits producing company in Ghana as its brand are sold in over 50,000 stores across the country while its King Cracker brand, with its healthy measure of wheat protein, real butter and minimal sugar, is said to be the best and largest selling biscuit brand in Ghana.
“We are very proud to be the first biscuits factory in West Africa, to receive the Global FSSC certification. It is indicative of the much higher benchmarks we hold ourselves to when it comes to safety and quality of our products,” said Mr. Chitwan Singh, Business Head at Nutrifoods Biscuits.
FSSC certification is not necessarily a mandatory requirement for such plants, but Mr. Chitwan explains that in a mass production food facility where about 1,000 packs are packaged per minute, it is almost impossible to sample every unit individually for quality and it is for this reason that FSSC is relevant and significant, as it offers both management and consumers the confidence that every pack that leaves the facility is safe for consumption.
“FSSC certification is therefore not a decorative object to be displayed on our walls. For us, it represents the introduction of a different level of consciousness and mindset change among the entire production team, with more rigid safeguards against any potential food contamination risks,” said Mr. Chitwan.
Olam Ghana Limited is a subsidiary of Olam International and has a 22-year track record in Ghana as a major supply chain manager of agric products and a leading agro-commodity and packaged foods company.
Olam is ranked among the country’s top Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), a leading trader in Ghana’s cocoa beans into European and Asian markets and is Ghana’s biggest exporter of cashew and one of the leading importers of rice. The company became one of the country’s major flour millers when it opened a new state-of-the-art wheat flour mill at Tema in 2012.
Since 1994, Olam Ghana’s operations have expanded vastly, culminating in the creation of employment opportunities for over 850 staff members, supported by more than 1,000 seasonal workers.
With this workforce operating in some 80 cities, towns and villages across Ghana and with a total warehousing space of 50,000 square metres, Olam Ghana manages an integrated supply chain which creates value and manages risk for its customers from farm gates, through processing, logistics, to marketing and distribution.