With the expert technical support of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), Arawak and Company Limited recently enhanced its status as a supplier to international quick service restaurant McDonald’s in Trinidad and Tobago.The local poultry supplier contracted CARIRI in 2012 to provide technical assistance for its implementation of the McDonald’s Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS). Arawak is a major supplier of chicken to the McDonald’s brand, and as such is mandated to comply with the SQMS.
During the past year, CARIRI food technologists/food safety auditors have worked hand-in-hand with an Arawak team, developing a framework and implementing the necessary requirements to adhere to McDonald’s stringent SQMS. This has enabled Arawak to improve its standing in McDonald’s supplier rating scheme.
An upshot of this contract resulted in CARIRI’s training of 20-plus Arawak employees in two areas: Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Introduction to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which focuses on prevention of hazards rather than inspection of finished products. Several key areas were covered, such as personal hygiene, basic food microbiology, raw material control, preventing cross-contamination, process control, pest control, traceability, record-keeping, packaging and labelling.
The CARIRI food technologists also trained three employees in GMP Auditing Techniques.
Commenting on Arawak’s compliance with its SQMS, Arcos Dorados Trinidad and Tobago Country Manager, Jameela Mohammed-Ali stated, “Arcos Dorados, the operator of McDonald’s TT and other restaurants throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, is proud to support local suppliers, it is one of our key policies. We want only the freshest ingredients that use the highest standards of safety and quality for our menu items. One way to ensure those standards are met is to work with reputable local suppliers,” Mohammed-Ali said. “We have strict process controls in place all through the production of our products, from suppliers to the finished product handed over to the customer. That’s why we maintain rigorous, science-based standards and evaluations in critical areas throughout our entire food and supply chains. Our Supplier Quality Management System includes food safety and quality system expectations for all our suppliers globally, and we are pleased that Arawak has complied with our standards of excellence”, Mohammed-Ali added.