Etosha Fishing wins big at national quality awards
ETOSHA Fishing Corporation won four awards in the five large enterprise categories at the 5th Annual National Quality Awards hosted by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) last month.
They won the Company of the Year, Exporter of the Year and Product of the Year awards, while company quality manager Linekela Kapundja received the Individual Award for Quality.
In 2015 Etosha Fishing managed the same feat by winning all four categories, going on to win Company of the Year and Exporter of the Year at the 2014/15 SADC Quality Awards.
With this achievement, the company will once again pit itself against other winners from the SADC region at the next annual SADC Quality Awards.
“We are delighted to receive once again recognition for our efforts to ensure quality in all we do,” says Etosha Fishing MD Pieter Greeff.
The company had shown consistent results in the Quality Awards since 2013 when it came second in the Large Enterprise Quality Award category, going on to win the large enterprise Quality Award, Exporter of the Year and individual Quality Award in 2014.
The NSI Quality Awards programme was introduced in 2012 with the aim of honouring companies who contribute to quality advancement in all sectors of the Namibian economy by having measurements and quality systems, procedures and processes in place that are in line with local, regional and international practices.
The programme also recognises companies who use quality advancement to support national economic development and growth.
Etosha Fishing is a leading player in the Namibian fishing industry and operates in a business environment where its customers are the market leaders in the canned pilchard industry on the subcontinent, including the revered Lucky Star and Glenryck brands. Its cannery is a world leader in fish processing with advanced automated equipment unrivalled in southern Africa.
The company broke ground in 2013 with the introduction of its own Efuta Maasbanker brand, leading the way with value addition by canning locally caught horse mackerel.
This has satisfied an emerging need in the market for a good quality product alternative at a time when economic hardship has caused many consumers to move away from higher-end products.
The venture also allowed for a more sustainable business operation with more extended term employment for more Namibians.
Since the introduction of Efuta Maasbanker to the local retail market at the start of 2014, sales volumes have increased five-fold.
Efuta Maasbanker was the first Namibian canned product to receive the NSI Standard Mark of Conformity product endorsement and proudly carries the Team Namibia logo.
Along with all other canned products, Efuta Maasbanker is halaal certified. Etosha Fishing’s factory also carries kosher certification by the Union of orthodox synagogues of South Africa.
“This means that our products can be consumed by people of any culture or religion.
“Through these certifications, our products act as ambassadors to the Namibian manufacturing and food industry outside of Namibia,” said Greeff.
Etosha Fishing knows it is not a static business in a static environment.
For the organisation to achieve sustained success, it applies a quality management approach.
Critical quality aspects of the manufacturing process are managed throughout the system, from the sea to the final point of dispatch to the customer, assuring that the customer can consistently expect a product of excellent quality, according to Kapundja.
“Our quality management system is based on the principle of ISO9001, and we use HACCP as a measure to control food safety risks.
“Etosha Fishing is certified to HACCP by the NSI through an inspection and audit programme. All our products are also inspected by the NSI for compliance with canned food manufacturing regulations and also by the South African national regulator for compulsory specifications.
“We have an extensive risk management programme in place that is based on the principles of OSHAS 18001 and ISO 14000,” Kapundja elaborates.
Etosha also maintains a continuous improvement programme, applying priorities that are based on market trends and research data, inputs received from customer satisfaction data as well as suppliers and other interested parties.
Social, environmental and economic changes are analysed to broaden the product range, achieve growth and ensure operational efficiency and sustainability.