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SA tea packer receives food safety certification

Durban-based Joekels Tea Packers has been awarded the globally recognised Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000, reportedly a first for South African tea packers.
Vilendrie Munsamy, Rad Gericke with (front) Jonathan Kelsey and Joe Swart.
FSSC 22000 is a certification scheme that was developed by the internationally recognised Foundation for Food Safety Certification, which was established in 2004. FSSC 22000 is also recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and encompasses the ISO 22000, ISO 22002-1 standards as well as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

"We are delighted that our facility is deemed to be of a world-class standard and more importantly, that the company is able to ensure the safety and suitability of its products before they reach its customers," confirms Jonathan Kelsey, co-owner of Joekels.

"The rising concern of food safety worldwide, coupled with the company's desire to be a leading tea packer in South Africa that cares about the safety of its consumers, has motivated us to better manage our food safety campaign."

The Pinetown based company relocated its factory in September 2011 to an 11 000 m2 world-class facility. This relocation kick started the process of improving its existing food safety standards and, in just over a year of planning and preparation, became FSSC 22000 certified by SGS, a Swiss based certification body in December 2012.

Growing African business

Established in 1994, by Joe Swart and Jonathan Kelsey, the company is a blender and packer of some of South Africa's most popular teas. From small beginnings it has expanded and grown to be the third biggest tea company in the country. It now has 10 different brands - Laager Rooibos, Laager Tea4Kidz, Laager Shake4kidz, Laager Cappuccino, Tetley, Phendula Tips, Tea Time, Tea for Me, Teeco Tea, Southalls Rooibos and some of the leading private label brands in SA. In 2006, Tetley, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Global Beverages, which is the world's second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea, purchased an equity stake in the company in order to grow its world-wide market share further and expand into Africa.

"We are proud to be the first major tea packing facility in the country that meets the safety standards outlined by the foundation and are committed to ensuring the maintenance and continual improvement of this prestigious achievement," ends Kelsey.
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