This standard, rarely obtained for an infant milk testing laboratory, is issued by the COFRAC (French Accreditation Committee), the only reference accreditation body in France. It validates and guarantees the cooperative’s high level of technical competence.
Every year, Isigny Sainte-Mère produces a large quantity of infant milk powders. Due to the sensitive nature of infants, the quality of these food products needs to be faultless, the cooperative said.
Isigny Sainte-Mère’s milk powder testing laboratory enables the cooperative to certify the safety and quality of infant milk powders manufactured at the Normandy site. Isigny Sainte-Mère’s teams operate more than 300 high-performance machines.
Since March 2019, the cooperative has had a new testing laboratory for infant milk powders where 100 laboratory technicians continuously test infant milk powders produced on site. Qualified technicians and engineers, all specialists in microbiological and physico-chemical controls, as well as analytical development engineers with a PhD in science, work with international experts and researchers on the implementation of the latest testing methods.
The COFRAC accreditation is intended to certify the competency of a testing organization, in accordance with standards, benchmarks or regulations in force.
The accreditation project was led by the Isigny Sainte-Mère laboratory management team and relied on the daily work of every employee and technician to record, trace and monitor competencies and test controls.
The construction of the milk powder laboratory in 2019 was a prerequisite for obtaining COFRAC accreditation.
This certification supplements the various accreditation and labels already obtained by the Normandy-based Cooperative (ISO 9001, AgriConfiance, ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, BRC Food and IFS, HACCP GB and an Organic Agriculture certification for certain products).
“Today, 2.5m babies are fed daily around the world with Isigny Sainte-Mère infant milk powders. We have to live up to this challenge, guaranteeing the total quality of the milk powders produced,” said Daniel Delahaye, managing director.
“We are very proud to have obtained this certification for our laboratory. I would never have thought it possible to obtain such a sought-after certification in such a short time, i.e. only 2 years after the laboratory opened for operation. This is an excellent achievement, and I warmly congratulate the teams that have been able to contribute to it.”
The company said the next step is to start up the new Unit 3 for the production of infant milk, which will position Isigny Sainte-Mère as one of the major players in infant milk in Europe.