Etosha Fishing Corporation became the proud winner of the SADC Quality Awards programme that took place on the 18th March 2015 in Kinshasa, DRC. The company has been growing from strength to strength having scooped the Quality Company of the Year and the Namibian Exporter of the Year in 2014 through the NSI’s National Quality Awards programme.
The NSI’s Annual National Quality Awards aims to recognize and appreciate industries, enterprises (including the service sector) and individuals who perform excellently on quality.
To find out what made the Etosha Fishing Corporation such a great performer in quality, the NSI sat down with the company’s Managing Director Mr Pieter Greef.
Pieter Greef, an Otjiwarongo born Namibian, completed his tertiary education in South Africa and has been working in the fishing industry since 1996. Greef says that his company values quality and therefore believes that it should be evident in everything that the company does. ”Quality is reflected in our products, our processes more specifically our people processes, the management of our natural resources as well as our partnership with key players such as the government and industry regulators.” He says.
Etosha Fishing has a canning facility, based in Walvis Bay, this, he says, is on par with the best round can production facilities in the world, operating under HACCP compliance and European Union- EU Accreditation with an output of 600 thousand cans every 24 hours.
He believes that quality and standards are of great importance both in accessing the market and maintaining your market position. Etosha Fishing processes under two brands Lucky Star for pilchards and Efuta for the horse mackerel. He says that since there are many strong competitors in the fishing industry, he feels it is important for both brands to be associated with quality and high standards. “This will enable us to access new markets and strengthen our position in the existing market, we also need to give customers a reason to choose us and that reason is strongly tied to the quality of our product.”
In 2014, Etosha Fishing Corporation took part in the NSI’s Annual National Quality Awards. The awards programme aims to encourage all local producers, manufacturers and service providers to strictly align their operations in accordance with the applicable national, regional and international quality requirements, standards, statutory and legal requirements in their respective fields of operations. Etosha Fishing Corporation took part in the awards programme in 2014 and exceled in two major categories Quality Company of the Year and the Namibian Exporter of the Year for Large Enterprises. Greef had this to say about winning the two prestious awards:
“It was a proud moment, yet also humbling because I know that this was a team effort and I realized that every Etosha Fishing employee contributed to this success. I feel proud to be leading such an exceptional team.
He says that there are direct and indirect benefits to winning the quality awards. Namibia is often overshadowed by bigger economies when it comes to producing quality products, therefore he feels it is gratifying to see how competitive a Namibian company can be. “The countries that we export to can rest assured that they will be receiving a product of good quality.”
He said wining the exporter of the year award was especially gratifying, because it underscored the company’s commitment to the fulfillment of government’s fourth national development plan (NDP4) and Vision 2030 towards an industrialised nation. He believes “winning the awards will definitely ensure an increase in sales and with a continuous improvement in company performance provides the opportunity to secure longer term employment.” Greef encourages all Namibian companies to take part in the 2015 edition of the NSI’s Annual Quality Awards. “Take the time; make the effort to complete the entry form, it is worth it.”