Case Studies

Rahbekfisk - Sustainable procurement

09.16.19

In our important domestic market, we are also experiencing a growing demand for certified products from the supermarket chains.

Quality Manager Jacob Tidemand, Rahbekfisk A/S

A shark for sustainable procurement

Rahbekfisk, which is a division of Espersen A/S, has long had the line for sustainable fish. At an early stage, the company chose to set a course for Marine Stewardship Council blue stamping, which documents that the company uses fish from sustainable fisheries. Since then, the requirements for documented sustainability have only increased. We supply to most retail chains in the UK, and the major retail chains are increasingly choosing fewer, but larger, suppliers who can document orderly quality, food safety and sustainability issues. In our important domestic market, we are also experiencing a growing demand for certified products from the supermarket chains, says Jacob Tidemand, Rahbekfisk.

Rising focus cooperate social responsibility

- We buy pangasius from Vietnam and the most amazing tilapia from Indonesia, all from certified fish farming. In addition, a whole lot of fishing goes from the Pacific via China to Europe, which is also why we have much more focus on social responsibility. We will be also audited against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), and it has been a great advantage in this regard to become part of Espersen A/S. The company has extensive experience in systematically managing the entire CSR area, and we use our certifications actively to improve the entire organization. After an audit in Fredericia, we discuss which deviations and points of improvements that we have become aware of so that we can learn from it across the organization, says Jacob Tidemand.

Extra effort around cleaning

For a food business such as Rahbekfisk, cleaning plays a crucial role, which is why the company has also put extra focus on purchasing this service as well as introducing an offensive strategy in relation to exactly that. The company has established an external cleaning inspection where Rahbekfisk's cleaning is reviewed from A-Z. First, the contractual relations between the company and the cleaning supplier are reviewed, and then the final cleaning is assessed, after which the results are maintained in a report shared by both the company and the cleaning supplier. Finally, the given inspection is repeated on an ongoing basis, so that potential improvements are maintained over time. If the cleaning fails, it can have serious consequences for the company - both with respect to the bacteriological standards and regarding to the protection against undetermined allergens in the products. We have lots of audits from certification companies, customers and authorities, but they are mainly conducted while production is in progress and cannot function as actual cleaning audits. Although we are fortunate to have a permanent cleaning team, it is important to keep a careful eye on the level of maintenance. Bureau Veritas Food Inspection has an experienced expert in the field, who regularly reviews the cleaning at our two factories. It's really good to have external eyes on it, and I think many companies could benefit from putting extra focus on cleaning - because it gives you extra peace of mind to know that it's controlled, says Jacob Tidemand.

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