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Taking its origins from a small Italian town called Collechio, renowned for its Parma ham and Parmesan cheese, Parmalat SA is one of the major contributors to the South African dairy industry. In order to maintain the best standards in international business practice, a few changes have been made to secure this dairy house as one of the sector’s leading innovators.


One of the biggest companies operating in South Africa’s dairy division, retaining a stock-market listing and its own legal structure, Parmalat also has a significant presence across the continent, particularly in Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, and Swaziland. Operating for more than 15 years, the company is known for a varied and wide selection of dairy products, particularly its award-winning cheeses, under its brand names. Iconic flavoured milk such as Steri Stumpie, ice-cream, butter, yoghurt and fruit juice all play a recognisable part in the company’s identity.


armalat SA employs a full time Group SHE (Safety, Health

in a controlled document. It was envisioned that the system should

and Environmental) manager and with this appointment, it is

indicate performance and incidents be visible to management and

made clear that any unsafe conditions or unsafe acts must be

employees alike. Implementation across the company’s African

identified and action plans put into place to mitigate the risk involved.

operations is a challenging process, as each African country has its

According to the company, the instigation of the SHE programme

own set of laws and regulations relating to safety, health and the

does not result in merely identifying risk; it recognises the potential of

environment. However, the baseline of the SHE programme allows

a hazard and evaluates the extent to which it poses a danger. Protocol

easy application across countries and once one had access to the

then requires the placing or recommending of control mechanisms

legislation, it was able to adjust the programme where necessary to

to be put into place to control these risks and once completed, the

ensure legal compliance.

identified hazard is audited in order to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of controls.

Staying fresh

In order to measure the success of the SHE system, Parmalat

One particular challenge of administering SHE has been addressing

SA follows an audit protocol. The NOSA (National Occupational

the health aspects of the workforce. The local dairy industry provides

Safety Association) programme produces two significant results

work to more than 60,000 people, contributing significantly to the

for the company: an effort score (the physical application and legal

country’s economy and plays a part in sustaining employment. Of the

compliance of the system at manufacturing and distribution centres),

18 SA sites in operation, Parmalat SA has seven with full-time medical

and importantly, the DIFR (Disabling Injury Frequency Rate), which

facilities on site, which in part, focus on the medical surveillance of food

indicates the effectiveness of the system measured against the man

handlers, drivers, equipment operators and employees who suffer

hours worked.

from chronic health conditions, such as hypertension. Thanks to this

Parmalat management was adamant they did not want a paper

availability, supported by a sound occupational health programme,

recording system, where incidents were cross-referenced resulting

the absenteeism ratio has been positively impacted and absenteeism

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reduced. The work force became healthier and exposures to stressors such as noise are dealt with.

Implementing the SHE system has also created opportunity for

your bottom line! s w o r that g FORMING

A member of the Astrapak Group •

Marcom Plastics

employees as the employee-driven system uses the programme’s legislation as the minimum criteria as the company building blocks for

Gerhard Van Reenen • +27 (0)12 541 2784 •

safety. Employees are trained in subjects such as first aid; fire fighting; accident and incident investigation. Thanks to the combined efforts of both the SHE team and senior management, Parmalat SA has managed to raise workplace health and safety standards significantly. For the last five years, the number of incidents per man hours has dropped, and the company can claim recognised leadership status in SHE management through NOSA protocol. In addition, the Parmalat SA has received a number of safety awards over the past three years for the system it uses. The SHE facilitators have also garnered awards for the manner in which they have performed. The resolutions from Parmalat SA could easily be held-up as a blue-print for efficient standards in the workplace; the company still retains its national position as the dominant player in the industry after it was named as the 2013/2014 Cheese Category Winner in the annual South African TGI Icon Brands benchmarking survey in July

Marcom Plastics is part of the newly formed ASTRAFORMING Division of Astrapak and produces a wide range of IML thin walled injection-moulded containers and lids for Blue Chip customers such as Parmalat. Innovative and value added products such as ice cream containers for emerging markets and sophisticated cream cheese and margarine tubs are the preferred choice for many of South Africa’s top brands.

last year.


• Award winning designs • In-mould labelling • Thin wall injection moulding • Engraving • Tamper evidence

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your bottom line! s w o r that g FORMING

A member of the Astrapak Group •

Marcom Plastics

Gerhard Van Reenen • +27 (0)12 541 2784 •



Corporate Brochure

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