By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK Namibia Dairies (Pty) Limited was yesterday awarded the International Standard Origination ISO 9001:2000 Certification related to the company’s quality management systems and processes which the company employs to realise its products. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 156 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a central secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. The certification means that Namibia Dairies is fully compliant with all the international requirements of ISO 9001:2000. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) awarded Namibia Dairies the certification after a thorough audit in December last year. Company Managing Director Desmond van Jaarsveld said Namibia Dairies embarked on the project to ensure that it introduces a formal quality assurance management system, which is recognised and audited according to international standards, and accepted by all its business partners, locally and internationally. The process to have the company certified 1SO 9001:2000 started during June last year with a goal to have the company formally certified within six months, which was obviously a huge challenge. “On 1 December, after a two-day intensive audit by the South African Bureau of Standards, we were informed by the SABS audit team that they would recommend Namibia Dairies’ formal certification,” he said. The ISO certification holds a number of opportunities for Namibia Dairies in terms of contributing to the further improvement of the working environment and relationships at the company. The certification not only guarantees assurance to employees regarding their safety and reliability at the workplace and enhances collaboration and communication at the workplace, but also enhances productivity through improved systems and processes as well as facilitates employee learning through consistent and standardised systems and processes Director: Human Capital at Ohlthaver & List, Berthold Mukuahima, said standards would be a vital means of attracting the best and most talented skills to the company, which should enable Namibia Dairies to consolidate retention levels, and further reduce training costs resulting from new recruitments. Ohlthaver & List is the holding company of Namibia Dairies. Officiating at the event, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Petrus Iilonga, said the ISO Certification awarded to Namibia Dairies applies to management systems, which the company employs to realise its products or services in order to contribute to the economic growth of the company. “ISO 9001 is the most readily recognised management standard that can be applied across all businesses and it facilitates their implementation of a quality management system,” said the deputy minister, adding, “This shows that an organisation should go about ensuring the provision of a consistent service that fulfils both customer and regulatory requirements.” According to Van Jaarsveld, Namibia Dairies has also since January this year introduced a programme called Organisational Improvement Management (OIM) with the aim of further improving industrial relations in the company and to create a climate of cooperation and a prosperity partnership between management, staff and the employee representatives. The same program is being extended into other companies in the O&L group.