(Implementation of GHP, GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000, Quality, Manufacturing Excellence, Business Excellence through cost effective cluster approach)
What are Clusters?
Clustering for competitiveness, introduced by Prof. Tsuda in India, is a relatively "New approach" which became widely popular since 1998 and which companies have found beneficial to adapt. Companies, preferably in the same geographical vicinity, are given "common set of inputs" through training and counselling and meet once a month to "mutually share and learn" from each others implementation experiences. Clustering is also possible among companies or units in that same group( e.g. several tea estates with attached factories of the same group company)
Supported by CII, SIDBI, Tea Board, ACMA and UNIDO, more than 145 total clusters covering more than 1170 companies have been impacted by the process.
Objective of Clusters
To increase trade of food products from India and providing safe food to all consumers by facilitating food industries to make themselves competitive in domestic as well as global markets through:
- Motivation for adoption of Food Safety & Quality Systems, Manufacturing Excellence, Business Excellence using TQM Tools and techniques.
- To enable adherence to stringent quality & hygiene norms as per global standards.
- To enhance product acceptance by overseas buyers through the adherence of acceptable MRL norms.
The approach comprises a combination of skill building programs, followed by in-company , hand holding services, customised as required, using cluster facilitation to design, document and implement HACCP, ISO22000, GHP, GMP as appropriate to the organizations. The approach is applicable to organisations irrespective of their size. In addition to participating in clusters, large and medium scale companies can drive the cluster approach for their micro and small scale suppliers by organizing resource personnel, motivating them to participate, conducting management reviews and tracking progress in order to ensure safe and quality ingredients, raw materials, packaging materials and other incoming materials. The cluster approach is cost effective since the training costs and travel /stay costs of the counselors are shared by the members. Additionally, members learn from each other and implementation is faster due to a sharing of best practices and a continual learning environment created in the process.
(Small Hotels & Restaurants,Tea, Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy, Bakeries, Flour Mills, Processed food, Poultry,, Meat, Coffee &others)
- Units from same group companies.
- Mixed Group of companies from various food sectors.
- A large / medium scale company's request for supplier development.
- Specific purpose groups
How do Clusters operate?
Once 4-6 companies agree to participate, the specialist group in CII assigns a Counsellor to this cluster. Following a need survey, the Counsellor conducts a common awareness and implementation training program and conducts a gap assessment with respect to HACCP, ISO 22000 or the system specified for the cluster.
Monthly visits are planned along with a common review meeting. A well defined roadmap, to be administered over a period of 12 months is drawn based on past implementation experiences. The benefits of clustering have been that the costs of investments are minimal when compared with long term benefits. Unlike most developmental programmes which are company specific, group efforts and group dynamics are fundamental to the success of clusters.
How to get started?
CII's zonal, state, regional offices and the specialist CII- IQ Food Safety & Quality team are the prime movers of this concept. A presentation on the methodology and roadmap is made to the interested companies following which the cluster companies are short listed. The cluster approach has been developed to provide a unique multiplier effect and an opportunity for Indian Food Industries to adopt and apply international Food Safety and Quality Management systems and other global best practices consistently through the entire supply chain and thus gain a competitive edge in the domestic and world market.