Cerebos celebrates 70th with major accolade

2015-12-09 06:00
Cerebos MD John Drinkwater (front left) and Cerebos quality assurance executive Jeanette Burger (front right) present the prestigious FSSC 220000 certification with their food safety team at the salt manufacturer’s Coega plant.                      P

Cerebos MD John Drinkwater (front left) and Cerebos quality assurance executive Jeanette Burger (front right) present the prestigious FSSC 220000 certification with their food safety team at the salt manufacturer’s Coega plant. P

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ONE of Nelson Mandela Bay’s longest standing companies, salt manufacturer Cerebos, celebrated 70 years in business last Friday by announcing a major global accolade.

The Cerebos plant based in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has been awarded the world’s leading food safety standard certification – the FSSC 22000 – making it the only salt manufacturer in the whole of Southern Africa to have been granted such prestigious accreditation.

The achievement – considered more sought-after than the popular ISO certification – has been four years in the making, and one which signifies millions of rands in investment in the IDZ plant, Cerebos MD John Drinkwater said.

“Cerebos is proud to announce that it is the only salt manufacturer in the whole of Southern Africa to boast such a certification,” said Drinkwater. “For our consumer base, it means we are living up to our brand promise of impeccable standards. For our industrial customers, it means they can rest assured that our product is closely vetted and of the highest standard in the world.”

Company quality assurance executive Jeanette Burger said seeking the highly-prized certification had been an exhaustive four-year process, dealing with international auditors Intertek and finally being vetted by the FSSC 22000 European board, which has a final say on all applications.

“Being FSSC 22000 certified means that the 30 000 tons of salt produced annually at our IDZ facility is of the highest international quality,” said Burger. “It also means that every step of the production process can be carefully traced, right down to the shop floor employees who handled the product on the day it was produced.

“We had an entire food safety team whose responsibility it was to ensure that our standards met those required by the FSSC 22000 committee. For our IDZ facility to retain this standard, we will be audited regularly.”

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler called the certification an “incredible achievement”, adding: “It is evidence that the city is capable of producing competitive global players, not only in the automotive, but also the agro-processing and food sector.

“We would like to take this opportunity to also congratulate Cerebos on their 70th anniversary. Evolving and adapting over the decades to the challenges in the business environment is what we wish for all our members: to remain sustainable enterprises that prosper and create jobs in Nelson Mandela Bay.”

In achieving the certification Cerebos joins a handful of other Eastern Cape businesses to hold FSSC 22000 accreditation, but remains the only salt manufacturer to be accredited in Southern Africa, and one of just two salt manufacturers in Africa.

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