business: Flexible Adds Another String to Its Bow
Recent Gauteng Business News
Ongoing improvements to Flexible KZN, which are consistent with AIB processes, include awareness training, upgrading of employee hygiene facilities and increased levels of food safety practices.
Flexible’s Quality Assurance Manager, Tony Wright, says that AIB compliance is important to customers as it provides a globally recognised standard, which ensures that packaging is produced in a qualified plant meeting strict criteria. AIB is particularly crucial to multi-national brand-owners, who are required to comply with global procurement policies, as well as those who manufacture goods locally for export to American and other offshore markets.
Recently, Flexible KZN achieved BRC (British Retail Consortium) accreditation too. While AIB and BRC are aligned in many respects, Tony points out that AIB is American and BRC is European. They therefore cater to totally different sets of rules and regulations.
At the same time, AIB is 75% inspection and 25% documentation, whereas BRC is 75% documentation and 25% inspection. Together, they complement each other and provide a holistic perspective of a plant’s performance in the quality field.
The American Institute of Bakers was founded in 1919 as a technology centre for bakers and food processors. Today’s AIB standards are a combination of health, welfare and FDA administration, including good manufacturing practices and Militar standards, covering food ingredients and packaging.
The standards received a significant overhaul at the beginning of 2009. Provision for unannounced audits was among the changes.
Tony says that the success of Flexible KZN in respect of AIB and BRC has already helped the company secure multi-year contracts with a number of blue-chip clients, including most recently Simba and Willards.
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