Honey Bun gets HACCP certification

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff feporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 27, 2016

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Honey Bun’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michelle Chong, has confirmed that the baking company has been accorded Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.

"It is something that I am tremendously pleased to see come out," Chong told Wednesday’s monthly Mayberry Investments Limited’s forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

Chong, who is also the new president of the Jamaica Exporters Association, said that the Jamaican company was certified on May 23, and noted that HACCP is an international food safety programme.

"Anywhere we export to and we are able to say that we are HACCP certified, we are speaking the language that buyers want to hear and I dare to say…that we are likely to be the first bakery in Jamaica to be HACCP food safety certified," she stated.

HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards, from raw material production, procurement and handling to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

The US National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods has endorsed HACCP as an effective and rational means of assuring food safety from harvest to consumption, and committee believes that the HACCP principles should be standardised to provide uniformity in training and applying the system by industry and government.

Chong noted that Honey Bun, which started operating from premises at 22 Retirement Crescent in Kingston 5, has now expanded into numbers 24 and 26 Retirement Crescent.

She also pointed out that since then, the company has won a number of national awards, including the champion manufacturer and Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) champion exporter awards, the JMA technology award and several awards from Jamaica Stock Exchange relating to corporate governance.

"Corporate governance is part of our foundation, in terms of building our company," she stated.

She indicated that Honey Bun has been going for cleaner products and using natural fruits.

"A lot of people don’t know we are doing the cleaning up of our products, and this is something that we are exceptionally proud of," she said.

She said that the company has been exporting buns, including spice buns, all year long and not only at Easter season, and continues to show significant growth primarily due to its promotions and the good relationships it has with its distributors.

"One of the reasons why this is so is because they know they can depend on us. If they have an order to go out, we are going to make sure that those products are shipped on Monday, if they are supposed to be shipped on Monday.

"We don’t romp when it comes to meeting those export orders. If our distributor in the UK runs out of buns because we didn’t deliver, our distributor gets charged, so we can’t afford for them to pass it on to us. We are very disciplined. While our sales increased by 19 per cent in 2015, we can see that our growth profits increased by 25 per cent, so those were efficiencies mainly in manufacturing that is bringing up our gross profits," she said.

She also stated that the company has been doing a marvelous job in reducing its transportation costs, as it relates to trucking.

"We have been managing that horrible job of managing trucking and the abuse of vehicles and that sort of thing. So, our distribution costs have also been well managed," she said.

Honey Bun, which distributes baked products, was listed on the Junior Stock Exchange in 2011 and has shown increases in efficiency and sales over the past five years.

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