WINDHOEK - Etosha Fishing Corporation asserted its position as a leading producer of quality canned fish products at the 6th Annual National Quality Awards hosted by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) in October. The company once again received top honours by winning three of the five large enterprise categories, including Company of the Year, Exporter of the Year and Product of the Year, a feat it managed in both 2015 and 2017.
The NSI Quality Awards programme was introduced in 2012 with the aim of honouring companies that 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.
This achievement comes as Etosha Fishing is preparing to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the launch of its home-grown EFUTA Maasbanker canned product in December, which won this year’s Product of the Year category.
The mainstay of the company’s business remains the canning of pilchards for world-leading brands such as Lucky Star and Glenryck-SA. Etosha Fishing is one of the few manufacturers that imports raw product to be processed on local soil before being exported again, earning valuable foreign currency for Namibia.
Against the backdrop of a dwindling local pelagic resource in recent years and the subsequent moratorium placed on pilchard catches, Etosha Fishing has imported in excess of 50 000 metric tons of frozen pilchards for processing on local soil since 2010, in order to sustain business.
“Etosha Fishing operates in a business environment where its largest customer is the market leader for canned fish in Southern Africa. The Lucky Star canned pilchard product sells at a premium price in the market due to its image of product quality. Lucky Star has clearly identified needs not only through adherence to regulatory requirements, but in product specifications that exceed the minimum requirements of the regulator,” said Etosha Fishing Managing Director Pieter Greeff. He added that Etosha’s cannery is a world leader in processing and automation as no other cannery in Southern Africa has the advanced automated equipment used for processing fish and quality monitoring.
According to Quality Assurance Manager, Linekela Kapundja, Etosha Fishing has established a quality management system based on the principle of ISO9001, a standard which organisations the world over use to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. The company also uses HACCP as a measure to control food safety risks, which is certified by the NSI through an inspection and audit program. All products are also inspected by the NSI and the South African National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications for compliance with canned food manufacturing regulations.
“All these efforts have placed Etosha Fishing products among the best quality canned products, not just in Namibia, but in Africa and worldwide. Our products can be consumed by all people of any culture or religion and through these certifications our products act as ambassadors to the Namibian Manufacturing and Food Industry outside of Namibia,” said Kapundja. She added that the company’s internal quality management systems provide assurance that the customer can consistently expect a product of high quality.
In 2013, Etosha Fishing pioneered local value addition of horse mackerel, becoming the first company to successfully can Namibia’s national fish under its own EFUTA Maasbanker brand. It was the first Namibian canned product to receive the NSI’s Standard Mark of Conformity product endorsement. The EFUTA products are also Halaal certified and carry the Team Namibia product mark. Initially launched in three flavours, namely tomato sauce, chilli and salt water, the company this year added a curry flavour and a minced horse mackerel canned product. It also introduced its own canned EFUTA Pilchard product.
2018-11-05 10:12:11 9 months ago