HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 9 September 2020 - GS1 Hong Kong launches a brand new "Quality Food Scheme+" programme to encourage food & beverage enterprises to adopt more stringent measures in accordance with internationally accredited standards in terms of management, control and traceability, for example identifying critical control points along the food supply chain, which helps to enhance food safety and instil trust in consumers.
(From left to right) Patrick Tong, General Manager of Tong Shun Hing Poultry (HK) Co. Ltd.; May Chung, Chairperson of Hong Kong Food and Beverage Industry Advisory Board of GS1 HK, and General Manager of Nestlé Hong Kong Ltd.; Anna Lin, Chief Executive of GS1 HK; Ben Tsang, Managing Director of SGS Hong Kong; Heidi Ho, Principal Consultant of GS1 HK.
Triple Confidence Using a Trio of International Standards
The Centre for Food Safety has issued more than 75 food alerts and results of sample with irregularity since the start of this year. The foods not in compliance cover seafood, vegetables, sauce, etc., from Australia, China, England, France, Thailand, New Zealand and others. They were either stopped sale, removed from shelves or recalled by the traders. While food safety incidents happen regularly, citizens have been extra cautious as the COVID-19 persists.
To help enterprises cope with the new normal in the midst of epidemic, GS1 HK launches "Quality Food Scheme+" (the new Scheme) with SGS HK as the audit partner. Under the new Scheme, participating enterprises are assessed based on more comprehensive internationally accredited food safety standards, including GS1 Global Traceability Standard (GTS), ISO 22000 - Food Safety Management System Standard, as well as HACCP -- Food Safety Control Standard.
In response to the latest infection, the new Scheme report will provide companies with disease prevention advice, including industry best practices and how food safety management and system is uplifted through proper technology adoption. For example, enterprise may be advised to use appropriate sensing and analysis technologies for real time monitoring of the food processing operation so as to strengthen the risk management control and enhance food safety.
"SGS Hong Kong is delighted to collaborate with GS1 Hong Kong to be the audit partner of the new 'Quality Food Scheme+'. We help food enterprises to engineer food source control, food operations and management in accordance with internationally accredited standards; identify and analyse the potential food safety hazards and risk, from raw materials to products, from manufacturing to handling process; establish control points and formulate monitoring system. It helps enterprises to reduce and control risk, ensure product quality and food safety, protect consumers' health, build and safeguard food organisation's market integrity, and ultimately enhance competitiveness." said Ben Tsang, Managing Director of SGS Hong Kong.
Enhance Brand Image and Win Consumer Trust
While the existing "Quality Food Scheme" adopts GTS (Global Traceability Standard) as the main criteria for assessment of food across the supply chain, which is particularly useful for product recall management; the new Scheme takes reference to additional global standards including ISO 22000 and HACCP on top of GTS, and provides participating enterprise with an all-rounded review to enhance its current system and practices.
Independent third parties, GS1 Hong Kong and SGS Hong Kong, will perform the audit for the participating enterprises, which help them to build brand image, reputation and win consumer trust. The enterprises will also receive a full report with recommendations for improvement, helping to develop a roadmap for better food safety management with its system and hence pursuing excellence. Please visit https://www.gs1hk.org/quality-food-scheme for the details of the "Quality Food Scheme" and the "Quality Food Scheme+" for 2021.
May Chung, Chairperson of Hong Kong Food and Beverage Industry Advisory Board of GS1 HK, and General Manager of Nestlé Hong Kong Ltd., is glad to see the launch of the new Scheme. "The food and food services industry is facing many challenges, primarily the public trust in food safety. The launch of the new Scheme is a perfect opportunity for the industry to be appraised by 3 international standards, improve food traceability as well as enhance food safety management and control throughout the supply chain. When consumers see the new Scheme logo, they feel safer to buy and consume."
GS1 HK has organised "Quality Food Scheme" for 5 years, and over 20 enterprises are recognised every year to commend their outstanding performance in food traceability, supporting food safety in Hong Kong. Please refer to Appendix 1 for the recognised company list this year.
Being recognised in "Quality Food Scheme" for 3 consecutive years, Tong Shun Hing Poultry (HK) Co. Ltd. also supports the launch of the new Scheme. Patrick Tong, General Manager of the company said, "As a major importer of chilled poultry in Hong Kong and Macau with 10 siu mei restaurants, food safety has always been our focus. The Scheme not only recognised our efforts, but also inspired us to set higher goals, such as enhancing information transparency. We have decided to step up to join the new Scheme, to allow more extensive review on our food safety management and pre-monitoring system, which I believe will elevate our standard in that regard."
Anna Lin, Chief Executive of GS1 HK, noted, "It is a pleasure to see such tenacity in the food industry to uphold food safety in Hong Kong. In a difficult time like this, joining 'Quality Food Scheme+' not only helps companies comply to regulations, but also rebuilds consumer trust and motivates repeat purchase once the situation gets better. Apart from the 2 Schemes, we also offer food safety and traceability training, consultation and track-and-trace solutions. We strive to collaborate with the industry to raise the bar for food safety in Hong Kong, so consumers will come back with a peace of mind."
Appendix 1 －
Recognised Companies of Quality Food Traceability Scheme 2020 (in alphabetical order)
Café de Coral Holdings Ltd.
FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited
Hop Hing Oils & Fats (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Maxim's Caterers Ltd.
Nestlé Hong Kong Ltd.
Sims Trading Co. Ltd.
Swire Coca-Cola HK Ltd.
Tong Shun Hing Poultry (HK) Co. Ltd.
Tsit Wing International Holdings Ltd.
Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd.
Wyeth Nutrition Hong Kong
AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd.
DCH Food Mart
DCH Logistics Co. Ltd.
International Gourmet Foods Ltd.
Lorence & Company Ltd.
Sun Fat Heung Food Products Ltd.
Tai Luen Coffee Company Ltd.
Aquaculture Technologies Asia Ltd.
Starjet Trading Limited
About GS1 Hong Kong
Founded by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in 1989, GS1 Hong Kong is the local chapter of GS1®, a not-for-profit, standards organisation that develops and drives adoption of easy-to-implement global standards for business to uniquely identify, accurately capture and automatically share vital information about products, locations and assets. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, GS1 has over 110 national chapters in 150 countries.
GS1 Hong Kong's mission is to empower business to grow and to improve efficiency, safety, authenticity and sustainability across multiple sectors and facilitates commerce connectivity through the provision of a full spectrum of platforms, solutions and services based on our global standards. We provide a trusted foundation for accurate, sharable, searchable and linkable data. Our EPC standard lays the foundation for IoT, powering a range of IoT-based services and applications. We are helping industry to meet the challenges of omni-channel commerce and create a seamless customer experience. By engaging with communities of trading partners, industry organisations, government, and technology providers, we are fostering a collaborative ecosystem and aiming for "Smarter Business, Better Life".
Currently, GS1 Hong Kong has around 8,000 corporate members covering close to 20 industries including retail consumer goods, food and food services, healthcare, apparel, logistics as well as information and technology.
For more information about GS1 Hong Kong, please visit www.gs1hk.org.