Certification and Quality are two inseparable terms. In order to be credible, the commitment of companies towards quality products and services must be accurately described, governed by specific standards and procedures and subjected to systematic checks by certifying bodies recognised and qualified to carry out certification by the competent authorities.
There are certification processes that refer to both the product itself and also to the different conditioning and/or processing the product undergoes.
These certifications aim to attest to the compliance of the product with certain characteristics and/or specifics and therefore represent one of the most important elements for assessment available for comparing different foodstuff before purchase and using objective parameters controlled by a third party body to do so.
Product Certifications obtained by Melinda
- Integrated Production this certification attests that Melinda apples are grown in compliance with the standards laid down by the Integrated Production Guidelines that govern every aspect of farming - from use of the water for irrigation, to control of plant diseases with natural means or with agrochemicals chosen for their very favourable eco-toxicological profile.
- DOP, or PDO in English, Protected Designation of Origin. This certifies that Melinda apples with this marking have been grown, stored and packaged exclusively in their zone of origin and it guarantees that the fruit meet the chemical and physical standards set by the DOP Guidelines (crispness, sugar content, natural acid level, etc.).
- Global-GAP: this certification attests that Melinda apples are grown in compliance with internationally recognised standards such as Good Agricultural Practices, which cover every aspect of farming, from respect for the soil, to correct management of irrigation water, to safeguarding the environment, operator welfare and safety, etc.
These certifications attest to the quality of the processes used by the suppliers of foodstuffs for the use and benefit of all potential stakeholders (e.g. clients, consumers and their associations, public bodies, schools, hospitals, canteens, etc.), certifying the suppliers’ ability to produce safe foods using safe processes that comply with the contract terms and legal requisites. The certifications guarantee that the products they refer to have been produced in compliance with well-defined quality standards and meet set requisites.
They in fact detail for the company producing the foodstuff the specifications for:
- production environments,
- personnel behaviour standards,
- methods used.
Process Certifications obtained by Melinda
- UNI EN ISO 9001:2000 certification (today in the 9001:2008 version), obtained by Melinda in 2001. This entails all the storage, processing and sales processes be subject to strict, periodic checks by the CSQA, a CISQ certifying body member and by IQNet, specialising in the agricultural and agro-food sector and accredited by the MIPAAF.
- BRC (since 1 January 2008 GSFS) and IFS obtained by Melinda in 2003. The GSFS Standard (Global Standard for Food Safety) was developed in England in 1998 by the British Retail Consortium and represents an important model today used by the GDO in many countries in northern Europe, while the IFS Standard (International Food Standard) corresponds to the GSFS for countries in central Europe (Austria, Switzerland, France and Germany).
- Ethical Standard: underway. This aims to certify Melinda packaging centres as suitable for supply by the largest distribution chain in the world (Wall-Mart)
The different certification programmes above have allowed and continue to allow Melinda to follow continual improvement throughout all stages in its production cycle, from the orchard to the centres for storage, selection and packaging, with a view to generating increasingly greater satisfaction for consumers, clients, suppliers, its collaborators and inhabitants in the areas where Melinda operates. Attainment of these important successes is only possible thanks to the involvement and convinced participation of all the member fruit-farmers and also of all the personnel working in the Melinda units, who share the strategic objective of maintaining at a very high level the guarantee of food safety and of total product and process quality.
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