In a first for Mzansi, the country’s leading fresh produce sales agency, the RSA Group, has secured 100% food safety accreditation at its Tshwane market. The group, who views the accreditation as positive development, can now guarantee that all fresh produce moving through their system at the market, upholds the highest food safety standards.
RSA Group chief executive Jaco Oosthuizen says food security accreditation is a very important aspect of the fresh produce industry.
“As a key role player in the centre of the value chain, we must also be able to certify food safety standards to ensure we support our business partners in their mission to deliver the best possible value to consumers,” he explains.
RSA Group had already received accreditation for its tomato and vegetable lines.
What this means for you
Practically speaking, consumers, retailers and farmers can expect that the highest food safety standards are maintained by the group, independent of the surrounding market infrastructure.
“Given various municipal infrastructure challenges, the accreditation assures producers that from an RSA Group perspective, food moving through the supply chain is fully compliant.
“We view the move as a very positive development in our business, and we’ll certainly be considering it at other municipal markets as well,” says Oosthuizen.
‘Food safety is non-negotiable‘
Reaching this level of excellence, however, has not been easy. The certification involved an extensive, multi-phased process featuring regular audits designed to examine warehousing practises.
This included food safety management systems, food safety incident management, good manufacturing practices, control of allergens, cleaning and disinfection, product contamination control, pest control, water quality, waste management and storage and transport, among many others.
Oosthuizen says, “Securing this accreditation was non-negotiable for RSA Group. The industry keeps upping its game with respect to food security standards and it’s essential that we move hand in hand with our business partners.”