Upholding South Africa’s number one ranking in Africa for food safety
In November, South Africa was ranked 70th out of 113 countries globally on the 2021 Global Food Security (GFS) Index, besting Ghana (82nd), Kenya (90th) and Nigeria (97th) in Africa.
As Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) points out, while South Africa may have dropped one place from its 2020 ranking, it is the improvement of other countries’ food security rather than any decline on the part of the Rainbow Nation responsible for the lower placing.
As has been the case in previous years, South Africa again performed admirably in the subcategories of food affordability and food availability, quality and safety and protecting natural resources for food production, scoring higher than other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Particularly since the republic exports produce to many other parts of the world, it has become essential that these high standards are maintained if South Africa’s status as the continent’s leading “breadbasket” is to be maintained.
That is also true for domestic manufacturers of food products, as the South African consumers are extremely discerning when it comes to what they put in their trolleys, and are becoming more so as new information becomes available about health risks associated with certain foods.
Food retailers go to great lengths to ensure that foods they purchase meet all requisite safety standards, as failing to do so can meet with disastrous consequences.
One of the best ways budding farming entrepreneurs and small businesses can to this is to become certified with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
Each standard within the ISO range indicates the tools required – policies, process flows, procedures, work instructions, forms reports and statistical analysis, for example – to help the organisation fulfill its objectives.
For Cape Town-based Kathy’s Kitchen, a manufacturer of a range of health crackers and date balls, obtaining an ISO 22000 Food Safety Management certification has been a revelation.
The company, which employs eight full-time employees and four contract workers when large orders are made, currently supplies Kwik-Spars and Super Spars, Wellness Warehouse and a number of independent health and organic stores and pharmacies.
Kathy’s Kitchen has been working with leading South African ISO standards training and implementation specialist WWISE to become ISO-certified, recognising that larger retailers like Pick n Pay and Dis-chem required a thorough food safety audit before stocking any goods.
Company director Victor Sables says the certification has been a game-changer for the business.
“Working on the ISO standards has improved all our systems and the staff is more empowered to work towards the standards required when manufacturing food,” he explains.
Courtesy of Food Focus – read full article here.