A former USDA Secretary Mike Johanns says, “Food safety involves everybody in the food chain.” A nation’s accountability for the safety and quality of food and drink is shared by the government, food and beverage (F&B) companies, distributors and retailers, and consumers themselves.
In June 2019, the Ministry of Health published the Food (Registration of Premises) Regulations 2019. This regulation set out the process of registering premises which manufacture, prepare, preserve, package, and store or offer for sale any food as specifically set out in the registration. This regulation will come into effect in June 2020. Any establishment that holds a food safety management system equivalent to ISO 22000 or above is exempt from the regulations.
In preparation of this, Fonterra, the company behind the Anchor brand,has been conducting a series of advisory workshops over the past six months, in collaboration with the Public Health Inspectors’ Union, for its business partners. The company engaged over 170 owners and chefs of F&B establishments to help ensure compliance and prepare them for the change and have now conducted another series of advisory workshops for over sixty consignment agents across the country.
At Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, quality is everyone’s responsibility. The dairy cooperative remains committed to ensuring its consumers can access and enjoy safe, nutritious food with initiatives that go beyond the company’s own manufacturing premises, covering its wider supply chain.
Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka’s Roshan De Silva, General Manager Consumer, Food Services, Sales & Emerging Markets said, “Fonterra’s collaborative relationship with our consignment agents helps us ensure that the quality and integrity of our products are maintained throughout the supply chain. Through these advisory workshops, we look to furthersupport our partners across the industry in proactively establishing and maintaining uncompromising standards of food safety and quality, thus fulfilling our promise to our consumers.
“2019 was a big year for Fonterra’s global food safety and quality journey.One of our world-class innovations, the electronic traceability ‘Trace’ system is now in place globally after three and a half years of innovation, design and business transformation. Today, we’re able to efficiently trace the origin of each product batch within minutes.
“Throughout the year we also committed to strengthen not only Fonterra’s food safety culture, but also that of our partners.We have built on learnings from our internal sites and shared this knowledge with third-party manufacturers and our other partners,supporting them to identify and mitigate risks for food safety. Likewise, the recent Advisory Workshops are a part of a continuous journey of putting this commitment into action while engaging our multiple business partners.”
Speaking at the workshop, Noel Jayasuriya, a consignment agent based in the North Western Province, said, “We appreciate Fonterra’s efforts to build awareness of the upcoming Premises Registration Regulation; consignment agents now have a better understanding of their responsibilities and can, thus, prepare in advance for this process change. Fonterra has been a trusted partner for over 23 years and has constantly helped me strengthen the food safety culture at my business.”
Commenting on the initiative, Ilham Ali, representing a consignment agent in Badulla, said, “The Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka team was instrumental in guiding our business to improve FSQ standards in our business. I was able to implement some of the things we learnt at the workshop and train our staff, which in turn helped us in our overall business operations.”
A. Ilongokoven, representing a consignment agent based in Negombo hailed Fonterra’s efforts and said, “Having worked with Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka for 35 years, I’m impressed by the dairy cooperative’s consistent efforts to continuously improve their partners’ food safety and quality systems; their recent workshop on the Premises Registration Regulation was one such helpful programme. The presence of the Public Health Inspector (PHI) during the Regulatory Affairs representative’s extensive presentation on the new regulations for food handlers was much appreciated. The PHI explained the newly amended law for food safety and quality (FSQ).”