Quality Assurance

For the implementation of the policies and realization of its targets, Schotman Hendrik S.A. is using a quality assurance system, according to Standards ISO 9001:2000 and BRC. Integrated in this system, Harassment Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is been used, as implied by the commission of Codex Alimentarius and according to the specification of the Greek ELOT 1416. The quality assurance system of Schotman Hendrik S.A. involves the procedure of processing, classification and packing of asparagus, and all network of managerial an support operations that guarantee both efficient operation and customer satisfaction.

The quality assurance system is been built on four levels:

  1. The manual contains general information about the corporation, the organizations the management structure and the technical operation of the packing plant. It also describes the policies and the targets related to the quality, hygiene and security, the philosophy and principles of the system and directives for its implementation. The manual contains the design of the HACCP and a description of the way in which the principes of HACCP has been integrated in the general operation of the packing plant.
  2. The procedures contain detailed information about the working methods during specific operations related to the technical and administrational operations of the company in order to be compatible to the requirements of Standard ISO 9001:2000, HACCP and BRC. Whenever needed, forms are included, to support gathering and registration of all data involved in application of these procedures.
  3. The labor instructions describe in detail all operations concerning labor tasks, equipment, processing, measurement methods and tests either explicitly or by referencing to the basic material. Whenever needed, forms are included, to support gathering and registration of all data involved in application of the labor instructions.
  4. The basic material consists of any kind of external documentation used by the packing plant during the realization of its activities, including legislation, books, manuals, published articles, etc.

In general terms the structure of the system follows the logic of standard ISO 9001:2001, with little variation in cases that practical implementation of the system would be supported.

As the production does not involve transformation of the raw materials, design and development of the production are not covered by the current system. On the other hand as raw material is a natural product, right choice of producers (growers) is been emphasized as well as the communication between the growers and the Schotman Hendrik S.A. Description of product specification is regarded as very important. This specification may come either by the clients or by the legislation that regulates production and distribution of agricultural products.

The system is dynamic and involves procedures for classification and manageable adaptation to specific needs.

The certification of the quality according to the standard BRC is a needed passport for any company that wants to distribute its products inside most of the existing product chains in Europe. This standard has been developed in Britain as the currently available ISO standards did not cover the needs.

During the control of the BRC Technical Standard for Food Products (version 3) which takes place during the first months of 2004, the company will try to become certified according to the German standard International Food Standard (IFS), a new standard wich did not exist when the company achieved the BRC certification.