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Quality control during cultivation

Quality control starts during cultivation, by a regular group of growers, most of who have been working with Oerlemans for more than 15 years. All growers supplying Oerlemans are certified by EuroGAP or a comparable authority, and are advised by 2 regular Oerlemans cultivation supervisors. These supervisors are agriculturally trained and proficient in the growth of Oerlemans products. The cultivation supervision process includes (compulsory) advice regarding the use of crop protection agents.

Thanks to such long-term relationships, we know the growers well and the growers know our needs. Oerlemans provides the appropriate (non genetically modified) seed; determines the sowing and harvesting schedules; and the grower is visited regularly by the cultivation supervisor. And so Oerlemans determines the optimum mix of varieties and grades required to produce the end products demanded by the market. This system also provides Oerlemans with the best possible insight into the complete cultivation process and therefore the quality of the products, allowing adjustment where necessary. The ideal harvesting moment is chosen following regular checking of the crops in the period running up to the harvest.

There is continuous contact with the factory during harvesting, in order to ensure a constant supply of products and to keep the period between harvesting, transport to the factory, production and freezing of the end product as short as possible. This guarantees that the products are processed while still in optimum condition, in order to retain maximum quality of the fresh produce.

Quality control during the factory process

On arrival at the factory, the fresh produce is inspected by the quality control department according to a set inspection schedule: all products are tested in terms of their organoleptic characteristics such as scent, flavour and appearance. This test takes place using control forms, based on the specifications of the fresh produce.

During the production and packaging process, the products are regularly tested according to a set schedule. Once again, all products are assessed for their organoleptic characteristics (their flavour, scent and visual aspects). This test takes place using control forms drawn up by the quality department. The forms are based on the end product specifications of clients. All tests are carried out by the production department, in order that the production process can be quickly adjusted in the event of deviation from the set standard. The quality department audits the production process, and the audit results are randomly checked by this department.

Any products failing to meet the required quality are rejected and identified as such. These products are stored separately and are no longer available to the automatic stock system for further processing.

The microbiological quality of products is also checked by the quality control department, along with monitoring for residues of crop protection agents, heavy metals and any other chemical contaminants. All microbiological and chemical analyses are carried out by an ISO/IEC 17025/2005 accredited laboratory.

The organic and bio-dynamic products are of course assessed according to the applicable EU legislation for organic products.

Quality Assurance (QA)

The QA department is entirely independent of the operational departments, and reports directly to management. QA monitors market developments in the field of quality and sustainability, and determines the quality policy to be applied, in consultation with the Oerlemans management team.

QA also assesses the processes applied at Oerlemans in terms of both NL and EU legislation, and also that of the country of sale, if applicable.

If you have a specific question/comment in the field of quality, please contact salessupport@oerlemans-foods.nl