Banz Kofi embraces ‘new normal’, achieves HACCP reaccreditation
A leading coffee roaster in Papua New Guinea has embraced the ‘new normal’ and capitalised on opportunities presented by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Banz Kofi Fektori is among companies being reaccredited with the internationally recognised Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification amidst COVID 19 travel restrictions.
This time around, the Australian firm HACCP Australia conducted the accreditation audits remotely using digital technology rather than in person.
HACCP is a management system that minimises or eliminates risks to food safety. It helps to identify, address and prevent hazards throughout the production process and applies a preventative approach to minimising food hazards.
With a resilient business spirit and zeal for quality, company owner Patrick Killoran says the HACCP reaccreditation means so much more now than ever, particularly with the global pandemic challenges.
“The reaccreditation allows our products to still have access to main export markets and our dynamic customer base maintained. Now more now than ever, people want traceability, they need to know a product is safe, hygienic, fresh and meets a high standard,” Mr Killoran said.
After several pretests to ensure the technology worked, the audit was conducted in a group session online with a staff member onsite using a smartphone to connect them.
Mr Killoran said despite the use of “unfamiliar” technology and overcoming the insecurities and intimidation of the unknown, the remote audit was very workable.
“This was done in the same way as a regular on-site inspection with the difference being, we did a group WhatsApp video link instead of David Haberfield of HACCP Australia being on-site”, Mr Killoran added.
“On the day, David, Feliz (onsite) and myself (in Brisbane) with a fourth staff member were on a phone to show documents, manuals and records and did a walkaround of the facility to ensure quality standards were maintained.”
Banz Kofi has been operating since 1990 from Mt. Hagen in the Western Highlands Province where coffee is grown and harvested from the beautiful Waghi Valley at 4000 feet above sea level. It was the first coffee roaster in PNG to achieve HACCP certification in 2018. The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Plus Program, funded by the PNG Australia-Partnership and New Zealand, has been instrumental in assisting the company gaining and maintaining its HACCP accreditation.
Banz Kofi products that will now maintain its HACCP seal.
PHAMA Plus PNG Country Manager Sidney Suma said the program was happy to continue its support to Banz Kofi, particularly during these difficult times.
“We collectively need to ensure small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) stay open and are operating. We are pleased that HACCP Australia was able to do the renewal audits remotely which complemented these efforts,” Mr Suma said.
“PHAMA Plus is proud to have played a role in supporting companies like Banz Kofi to remain on the right track towards economic recovery.”
PHAMA Plus’ support for Pacific export businesses to acquire accredited food safety certification is aligned with the program’s priorities to support firms to meet export regulations, including compliance with international food safety standards.
*For more information, please contact PHAMA Plus PNG Country Manager Sidney Suma on firstname.lastname@example.org