Our reputation for quality is a competitive advantage and we guard it carefully. We understand the need for each of us to take responsibility for our part in maintaining the trust of customers and consumers.
We continue to focus on our quality and food safety infrastructure through the enhancement of our Quality Standards within the Fonterra Quality System. These outcome-based Standards specify our non-negotiable requirements with which our global operations must comply.
A controlled-self assessment against the Fonterra Quality standards across all our majority owned operations revealed an inaugural compliance score of 95% providing baseline data from which we are generating targeted improvement programmes.
We established a food safety and quality risk management framework to ensure we identify and remain ahead of emerging food safety risks, including mitigation activities and escalation reporting. We recognised the need to establish Food Safety & Quality Council at senior management level, both to track emerging risks and to lead Fonterra’s commitment to quality and food safety.
Raw milk quality continues to lift as all our milk pools focus on quality and safety improvements. Milk quality audits and improvement programmes are being carried out across the 16 countries where we source milk. At the same time there is an increasing awareness regarding on-farm sustainability and how it relates to the local business environment where we operate.
One milk quality improvement project of note was the successful installation of a solar refrigeration unit at Hanwella Chilling Centre in Sri Lanka. During 2013 this became fully operational, delivering an improvement in quality through reliable and consistent raw milk chilling, and a reduction in energy usage.
The Fonterra Approved Supplier Programme uses a risk based approval process which incorporates certification schemes recognized through the Global Food Safety Initiative. The programme ensures we operate a robust and safe approval process for procured ingredients, packaging and third party sourced dairy products. The level of compliance of our suppliers to our standards continues to improve and audits of our high risk suppliers and joint ventures were conducted in over 25 countries.
Our overall product quality performance was once again assessed by Fonterra’s customers as being world class, via our 2013 customer value management survey where we achieved a score of 8.1. This is the fourth consecutive year in which we have achieved a score of above 8.0 which is considered best in class.