The Foqus quality assurance system was first launched on 1 January for member dairy farmers and has now been extended to cover all FrieslandCampina production sites to ensure they meet uniform standards for quality and safety.
Foqus builds on similar systems in place at Friesland Foods and Campina and aims to provide a structured and transparent approach regarding relevant standards and opportunities for improvement.
At the production site level, quality and safety requirements are based on international and national rules and standards, such as HACCP, ISO 9001, FSSC22000 and Code.
These are currently being built upon with new requirements on working conditions, environmental care and fire prevention. This involves establishing compliance with international standards governing working conditions and the environment including ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
The Foqus system is being employed by all FrieslandCampina sites but it is also translated to suppliers of ingredients and other raw materials. The idea is that the Foqus system is applied across the production chain, even if the specifics of how it works vary depending on the position in the chain. Quality assurance obviously works differently in practice on a dairy farm and a production company.
Suzan Horst, corporate manager at quality affairs, issue & crisis management at FrieslandCampina claims that it is important to have a basic philosophy underpinning all quality assurance work.
Horst said: “We stick to one basic philosophy. That’s why we opt to work under the Foqus name throughout the chain to guarantee quality, food safety, safety at work and the environment.
Horst explained that dairy production is a careful process, demanding risk analysis, production protocols and quality controls. But the company spokesperson said quality cannot just be guaranteed on paper.
Horst: “It’s therefore, and primarily, about attitude and motivation. Motivation to continue to improve. Foqus is geared to this. The PDCA circle (Plan Do Check Act) therefore plays a key role.”