The Independent Inquiry Committee which reviewed the circumstances giving rise to the precautionary recall of whey protein concentrate (WPC80) last year has welcomed Fonterra’s progress on implementing recommended improvements.
The Committee completed a nine-month checkpoint on Fonterra’s progress, which itself was one of the Committee’s recommendations. Committee Chair Sir Ralph Norris said the co-operative’s leadership had taken responsible measures to distil the Inquiry’s recommendations into a significant programme of work. “The Committee was unanimous in its view that Fonterra management has brought a clear focus to rectifying the areas of weakness identified last year during the Inquiry. It was particularly pleasing to see evidence of the holistic and disciplined approach being taken to implementing changes that will further strengthen the co-operative,” said Norris.
Progress to date includes:
• 75% completion of audits of Fonterra-owned plants globally and where necessary maintenance/improvements underway
• Protocol in place for engagement of external scientific and diagnostic resources including appropriate engagement of experts
• Food Safety and Quality written in to all senior management employment contracts
• Establishment of (and fully functioning) Incident Management Team
• Creation of Food Safety and Quality Council
• Appointment of Greg McCullough as Head of Food Safety and Quality
• Implementation of a quality hotline
The Committee will reconvene next year to consider a final report from Fonterra, outlining progress on initiatives already underway and how each of the Inquiry report recommendations has been addressed.