Foqus quality system launched for member dairy farmers

14 December 2009

Foqus is the name of the new quality system to be used by the FrieslandCampina member dairy farmers from 1 January 2010. Foqus provides the members with transparency about what they must and can achieve when it comes to milk, the cow, the production process on the farm and care for the environment. Foqus provides practical tools for meeting the requirements of customers and authorities.

For the member dairy farmers, Foqus encompasses the areas of milk (such as the quality of the milk, milking and milk storage), the cow (welfare), production process (water, feed) and environment (grazing). For the Dutch members, the system is about the specific rules of FrieslandCampina. For members in Germany and Belgium, FrieslandCampina is linking in as much as possible to existing national systems, such as QM-Milch (Germany) and IKM (Belgium). Independent, external bodies monitor the milk and the business operations of dairy farmers.

With Foqus, FrieslandCampina has put in place a forward-looking, as well as a practical quality system for its members. “We’re announcing the name Foqus now, but we’ve been sharing the structure and the most important elements of the system with our members over the past few months. At their dairy farms, the performance of our members is the basis for the entire chain”, according to Yvonne van der Vorst, quality manager at Cooperative Affairs.

Structure of quality system, measurement and performance
For each of the quality areas, there are targets (what must be achieved) and conditions (how it can or must be achieved) and there are a number of optional areas. For example, FrieslandCampina’s voluntary outdoor grazing programme will also be included in the Foqus quality system from 1 January 2010.

How each dairy farmer scores in the various quality areas, is determined by milk research and a review of the business operations of the dairy farmer. The combined scores in the various quality areas determine the quality performance of the business, with Excellent as the highest possible score.

Compatible with systems in the business
The quality system for the dairy farmers covers production on the farm to the collection of the milk. The quality system for the dairy farmers is compatible with the management systems adopted by the company FrieslandCampina in milk collection, milk processing, production preparation and distribution in terms of quality, food safety, employment conditions, fire prevention and the environment. These systems are based on international rules and standards, such as ISO, HACCP, Codex and OHSAS.