A Dutch German working group has been proactive to improve food safety by setting up an integrated trans border project that supports quality and hygiene management efforts in small and medium sized enterprises.
On both sides of the border, nine food processing companies have joint as pilot partners. They collaborate in improving their quality management and are coached by a Dutch German group of the two consultancies Concada and Corio, the University of Bonn, the IT house PLATO AG and the public food and veterinary service of the Rhine Kreis Neuss who is responsible for the overall management of the whole project.
This research and development project is carried out in several steps. One goal is to adjust the GIQS tool for Preventive Risk Management according to the needs of consultancies coaching very small, small and medium sized companies setting up their quality management system. This tool also serves the as a knowledge data base for HACCP analyses and Audit planning within integrated quality and hygiene management of companies. As a result the companies will be able to apply for an EN ISO 9000, IFS and BRC certificate.
Facing the background of the tough market situation by food production, the previous know-how and strategies for selfdependent monitoring and control of food hygiene and quality in Germany and the Netherlands should intensively be exchanged, evaluated and improved together. As a legal base the directive 93/43 EWG of the Councel on food hygiene, the General Food Law (EU 178/02) on methods for food safety as well as the respective national legislation. The workflow of the project can be divided into business related and inter enterprise activities. A Dutch-German workgroup, consisting of two consultancies, one softwarehouse, the University of Bonn as well as two project organisators coordinate these activities and implements them.
In the factories an individual supervision finds place which is divided into the steps analysis on the present state, construction of a guide on quality management, doing a risk analysis based upon the HACCP-concept and internal audits. Furthermore employee-trainings on strengthening competences and assuring continuous implementation of quality and hygiene management systems are supported. The tool Preventive Health Management one the one hand supports the advisors by moderating risk analyses and serves on the other hand as knowledge base on risk analyses and planning of controls for other enterprises.