Woolies stocks local beef
The Farm Assured Namibian Meat Scheme (FAN) is in the process of conducting market compliance audits on behalf of the large South African retailer Woolworths for the supply of beef. The Woolworths channel offer approved red meat producers a lucrative, high-end market for prime cuts.
The FAN Meat Scheme is made up of a series of different minimum standards for quality assurance of the product from farm to fork.
As the beef regulating organisation, the Meat Board is in the process of vetting six producers in anticipation of new quality management systems as approved by the Namibia Standards Institute.
Another 34 farms will be audited by the Meat Board of Namibia’s FAN Meat staff for adherence to the Woolworths requirements.
For the producer, attaining the FAN Meat Scheme logo guarantees the safety, quality, heartiness and traceability of Namibian meat to export markets.
While Woolworths’ standards require that export abattoirs are audited twice a year, the first round of export abattoir inspections has been finalised and any deviations that were found have been submitted to the management of Woolworths.
The next round of export abattoir inspections is scheduled for January 2017. Audits on the FAN Meat division of the Meat Board of Namibia were done during the first week of August 2016.
These audits, completed together with officials from the Directorate of Vetenary Services, showed no deviation from the standards.
FAN Meat Scheme Chief, Esegiel Serogwe, speaking to the Economist said that the farmers to be audited have direct agreements in place with abattoirs that supply meat to Woolworths South Africa.
“Thus the Role of the FAN Meat Scheme is to check if these producers are in compliance with the FAN Meat Standards and Woolworths specifications.” Serogwe said, adding that the current certificate is due for re-certification in 2017 upon which the FAN Meat Scheme plans to apply for certification for the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System.
An external audit will be conducted later this year by an independent internationally recognised certifying South African based ISO accredited German company, DQS German Association for Certification of Management Systems.
That certification will replace the current ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System that is in place since 2013. Serogwe said that the timeline for issuing and finalising the new standards depends on the preparation and readiness of organizations that wants to implement the standards in addition to food safety management standards.
No concrete estimates on the volumes to be produced have been made yet as the intention is to measure the quality of meat to ensure that it is in accordance with FAN Meat and Woolworths standards.
Namibia Standards Institution spokeswoman, Joanette Eises, said that ISO standards are reviewed every five years by a group of experts in a committee to incorporate new business practices and new technological developments.