FarmLink, a fruits and vegetables (F&V) supply chain company, has received a rare 'ISO-22000' certification from TUV-NORD, a reputed international provider of quality accreditation. It is very uncommon in India for an agri-startup to receive such validation for its F&V distribution centre near Mumbai. The certification would further strengthen the company's quality assurance and publicly demonstrate a commitment to food safety. "The accomplishment is a significant step for FarmLink. Efforts of the team at Vashi (near Mumbai) distribution centre have paid off well with the recognition, adding further credibility to the company. It confirms our best-in-class food safety management system and assures safe and high-quality fruits & vegetables for consumers," said, Ravish Chavan, COO of FarmLink.
FarmLink procures fresh produce from farmers through its network of collection and service centres and delivers the produce to industrial scale off-takers such as Hotel-Restaurant-Cafe (HORECA) chains, big retail stores, industrial processors and emerging e-commerce platforms. "Due to the nature of work involved, it is indeed very rare and difficult to obtain 'Food Safety Standard' certification for facilities exclusively engaged in fruits & vegetable procurement, sorting or grading activities and distribution for where no processing takes place," added Ravish.
Post appointments as COO last year, Ravish has played a key role in improving FarmLink's operational efficiency and bring in process discipline. While he has been instrumental in the company's growth by scaling business operations, the recognition would further support his marketing efforts to onboard customers. "There is a significant rise in recognition of ISO-22000 standard throughout the global food supply chain. Given today's fragmented and complex food chains that have led to a steep increase in fraud and contamination, consumer's quest for safe and sustainable food has become a top priority. Hence, such recognition for an Indian F&V distribution centre plays a crucial role in the entire farm-to-fork ecosystem of the country," said, Sameer Bidaye from TUV-Nord Group.
TUV-Nord Group conducted a three-stage audit at the Vashi (near Mumbai) distribution centre to audit the process as per scope for Receiving, Processing, (Sorting Grading, Storage, Cold Storage, Packing) and dispatch of fresh & cut vegetables & fruits. FarmLink sought the certification to pursue its commitment towards adherence to quality and food safety standards. With the successful completion of the audit, the distribution centre is now amongst a few companies in India to be certified 'ISO 22000 Food Safety' standard. With a mission to develop India's underserved regions, FarmLink supports more than 1000 farmers in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu by providing knowledge & extension services, including agriculture credit, crop insurance and warehousing. The company intends to reduce agriculture wastage by streamlining the value chain, wherein the majority of this saving translates into increased farmers' earnings.
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(With inputs from agencies.)