Officials from the Pine Hill Dairy, which recently received a rescue package from government to help relieve it of its excess milk stock and improve its bottom line, took Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick on an extensive tour of its modern processing plant in the Pine, St. Michael this morning.
Decked out in all the health and sanitary wear required for entering such a facility, Minister Estwick, a high-powered team of officials from his ministry and media representatives, were guided throughout the plant and into some of its more sensitive sections, by Acting General Manager, William Haslett, Director and Chief Executive Officer of parent company Banks Holdings Limited, Richard Cozier and senior PHD staff.
Some of the sections visited by the teams included the production line, the packaging and warehouse, the microbiology preparation and incubation area and operations control. One of the things which impressed the minister was news from management that the company had recently become the only dairy in the world to be authorised and certified through four ISO certification processes in a single sitting.
“I think indeed, it is a commendable achievement and what we have to appreciate is that what it says to us, is that size sometimes doesn’t determine your capacity; and the capacity therefore of the Pine Hill Dairy, to be designated as essentially a world class dairy, is therefore now not in doubt, it is there for the record,” he declared.
“The thing that impressed me in this entire process, is how important it is to a manufacturing entity, that its final product as a consumer, to pay special attention to all of the phases involved in the output of that final production,” Estwick added.
He was particularly delighted, from what he witnessed during the tour, at the health and safety standards in place at the PHD.
“As the Minister of Agriculture, that is now battling with the whole element of a National Agricultural Health and Food Safety system; what I saw today, is probably a premier example of the achievements of that particular type of system, where you have, not only all the elements of traceability enforce, but you have a capacity to be able to manage your traceability from the farm, essentially, down to the consumption side, which is the table,” asserted the minister of food. (EJ)