Global Quality and Raw Material Procurement Meeting
During the first week of May, upper management at Silva—together with the global procurement and quality teams—spent a few days together at our corporate U.S. headquarters in Momence, Illinois. The group reviewed the 2013/14 crop year, as well as agreeing on priorities and goals for the 2014/15 year.
The review of 2013/14 activities showed an improvement in key quality parameters, due to our “on-the-ground” approach with quality personnel present at many of our partners during the harvest and production of raw materials. With added staff in China this year, as well as the strengthening of our vendor quality department in our Momence office with the hire of Alesha Benedict, we are better equipped to face the challenges in our industry. We will continue to help our raw material partners implement best practices to deliver safer and better product—protecting both the Silva brand and the brands of our customers
We spent more time on the field together with our farmers during the 2013/14 crop year than ever before, implementing better controls to ensure the quality and safety of our ingredients. In 2013, we developed new guidance for the purchase and use of crop protection chemicals. This program not only ensured the compliance of the raw material we use, but also further protects the communities and farmers we partner with—as part of our commitment to implement best practices and social accountability throughout the supply chain.
Our team in China continued to address product-specific issues and drive raw material supplier improvements through our internal audit program. With our comprehensive program on the ground in China, we continue to see success in driving continuous improvement and our organization is able to quickly adjust for crop, market, or quality issues as needed. This aids to ensure our customers safe and steady supply of the Silva ingredients they need.
As a global team, we reached a number of conclusions regarding priorities and objectives for the new crop year. We are reworking our current raw material site audit to better accommodate current best practices in food defense and environmental monitoring programs. At the same time,we are migrating our audit to new software, allowing for better transparency and reporting. These changes will be implemented during Q3 2014. With our added staff, we believe our new auditing program will be more successful in driving quality improvement. We will continue our work with our farmers, but also increase our presence at our raw material partner facilities for the coming year.
We are also expanding on our work regarding sustainable farming practices. As we have stated before, protecting the communities and the environment in the areas where we source raw material is an important priority for us. We are increasing threefold the farming area dedicated for sustainable farming and demonstration farms.
Together with the production line expansions at our Illinois production facility and the added resources globally, Silva stands ready to better serve our customers with safe quality ingredients.