Fonterra Brands Lanka leads in Food Safety and Quality across the supply chain

“From product design to consumption, across the supply chain we are all custodians of food safety and quality,” says MD Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka

For consumers around the world, access to safe and nutritious food is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of themselves and their families. The food and beverage industry has a crucial part to play in ensuring the food they bring to their customers meets these standards.

With a local investment of over 240 million rupees, food safety and quality (FSQ) goes beyond compliance at Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka.

Managing Director of Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka and the Indian Subcontinent, Sunil Sethi said throughout its century-long heritage of producing high quality dairy products, the global dairy co-operative behind Anchor has been committed to enhancing food safety and quality throughout its dairy supply chain, from on-farm to market shelf.

“Throughout the supply chain, from product design to the point our products reach consumers, we believe every one of us is a custodian of food safety and quality,” he said.

Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka has invested 192 million rupees in advanced Foreign Matter Detection scanning technology for its milk powder packing plant, another step in further ensuring that only the best quality, safest nutrition reaches consumers.

“Our uncompromising focus on milk quality extends to our local dairy farmers, where we source milk for our Anchor Newdale range of yoghurts and flavoured milk and Anchor UHT and pasteurised milk. We practice Antibiotic Milk Screening – meaning safer, longer lasting dairy products made from locally sourced milk and annually test the quality of local milk through our Milk Sourcing Assurance and Advisory (MSAA) audit conducted by a New Zealand based audit team,” said Sethi.

As a part of its long term commitment to FSQ, the dairy co-operative continuously updates and reviews its internal food safety and quality management systems. Third party audits play an important role in establishing this best practice.

Head of Food Safety & Quality of Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, Sachith Muthukumarana explained that Fonterra works closely with authorities, state regulators and agencies, as well as its global food safety and quality teams, to guide this continuous improvement.

“Ensuring transparency of processes and establishing clear and transparent communication with consumers is a key priority for the co-operative,” said Muthukumarana.

“We want to ensure consumers can see our commitment to food safety in practice. This is why we have established accessible information channels to provide the information they need. Our consumer hotline is open from 7am to 11pm, all year round, and we welcome any member of public to schedule a factory tour to see our processes for themselves.

“We also use our social media channels to drive transparency and good practices consumers can follow to get the best out of their dairy,” he said.

In 2017, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Food Safety Standard audit rated Fonterra’s Sri Lanka operation Grade “A”, guaranteeing the “standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria” and ensuring protection for the end consumer.

In the same year, Fonterra received two certifications from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), whose auditors recognised the co-operative’s quality management system and its food safety management system respectively.

Local experts including university professors and members of the Government Analyst department representing the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment (SLAB) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research recently recertified the co-operative for ISO 17025:2005 for its laboratory facilities and personnel.