Customs scheme good news for SFF

Silver Fern Farms chief operations officer Kevin Winders looks on as Customs controller Carolyn...
Silver Fern Farms chief operations officer Kevin Winders looks on as Customs controller Carolyn Tremain signs an agreement between the two organisations. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

Joining New Zealand Customs' Secure Export Scheme will bring efficiencies to Silver Fern Farms and certainty for its international customers, chief operations officer Kevin Winders says.

Customs controller Carolyn Tremain recently met Mr Winders at the company's Dunedin head office to present him with a partnership certificate for joining the scheme.

The scheme - a voluntary agreement between Customs and exporters - was a ''world-leading'' programme that met global supply chain security standards and aimed to make the international trade of legitimate goods easier, Ms Tremain said.

The partnership with Silver Fern Farms showed Customs' high level of confidence in the security of the company's supply chain.

Silver Fern Farms would be recognised as a ''trusted trader'' in countries that shared mutual recognition arrangements - the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea, she said.

Mr Winders said joining the scheme was a ''good step'' for the business, as it had refined processes through its chain of care, which would make exporting easier.

''Working with Customs in this partnership means we can demonstrate to our international trading partners that we are committed to ensuring the integrity and security of the goods we provide them,'' he said.

Exporters approved for the scheme provided Customs with risk management plans that assured their goods were packed and transported securely to the place of shipment without interference.

Containers were secured with a Customs-approved seal, to show they could be considered secure by other overseas customs administrations.

It meant less trouble and fewer delays. Being able to fast-track products with a finite shelf-life, such as meat, was great, Mr Winders said.

Food safety was of paramount importance to the company and it also meant that when the product left its plants in containers, that integrity of the supply chain all the way through the market was ensured.

It had taken 12 months to work through each plant site and meet Customs' requirements and it was good to have completed the process, he said.

• The Secure Exports Scheme was launched in July 2004, and includes 121 companies covering a ''significant proportion'' of New Zealand's exports, a Customs spokeswoman said yesterday.

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