Dairysafe’s mission

To lead the South Australian dairy community to embrace a food safety culture’.

What is food safety culture?

  • FSANZ defines food safety culture as, “how everyone (owners, managers, employees) thinks and acts in their daily job to make sure the food they make or serve is safe. It’s about having pride in producing safe food every time, recognising that a good quality product must be safe to eat. Food safety is your top priority.”
  • The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has a slightly different take on food safety culture, “shared values, beliefs and norms that affect mindset and behaviour toward food safety in, across and throughout an organisation.”
  • In a business, Food Safety Culture involves taking extra steps to prioritise food safety throughout the entire organisation, through training and development, in the vision promoted by the business, the attitude within the business demonstrated by staff values, policies, rules and procedures and, most importantly, communication throughout the company.

Dairysafe’s Food Safety Culture Award

  • The award recognises dairy businesses that integrate food safety into their business culture.
  • It also acknowledges industry champion dairy processing businesses.
  • Dairysafe places significant emphasis on food safety culture because we know it’s good for business and helps to deliver safe, high-quality dairy products.
  • Businesses with a mature food safety culture should be seen as champion dairy businesses.

2023 Food Safety Culture Award – information pack
2023 Food Safety Culture Award – nomination form

Dairysafe thanks all entrants and is happy to announce and congratulate the finalists of the 2023 Dairysafe Food Safety Culture Award:

The 2023 Award acknowledges businesses that have experienced an exceptional culture journey, including how food safety culture has evolved, the involvement of everyone in the business, successes, challenges, rewards, and their future plans. This recognition is part of Dairysafe’s strategic priority to inspire a food safety culture in the SA dairy community. The Dairysafe Board places significant emphasis on food safety culture because it is good for business and underpins the production of consistently safe, high-quality dairy products. Positive food safety culture comes from excellent workforce relationships, communication, trust, accountability, feedback loops, measuring progress, collaboration between departments, training, problem-solving, teams working together on issues and continuous improvement. That is what was observed at each of these businesses.

This Award recognises these four South Australian companies for their outstanding efforts in establishing and developing a culture of food safety. It is important to acknowledge and support their ongoing culture journeys, innovative approaches and efforts toward further development and ongoing growth.

The WINNER will be announced at the 2023 SA Dairy Awards Gala Dinner on Friday 4 August at Adelaide Oval.

Past winners define how food safety culture operates within their businesses

  • Food safety culture operates within our business via training, education, open communication with all staff, strong reporting, enhancing technology, utilisation of data analytics and building on each staff member’s capabilities.”
  • The food safety culture journey of all employees begins from the initial employment stage and is continued for the life of employment.”
  • Communication is a key tool …… every day, each team member has the opportunity through tier meetings to be briefed on issues that have occurred over the past 24 hours, and discuss any observed risks or hazards that have been identified by the team.”
  • 100% of the site is involved with formal teamwork – and have the opportunity to meet with their leader off-line twice a month.”
  • The teamwork meetings provide a forum for team members to set goals across quality, safety, waste and cost. Key opportunities are identified and incorporated into our plans.”
  • Projects are often led by team members with support from leaders, and once completed the project is formally presented to the team and site leadership providing the forum for continuous learning and recognition of team achievements.”

It’s obvious why food safety culture is good for your business

  • The return on investment for a business from a solid food safety culture extends to:
    • protecting your brand,
    • positive quality factors,
    • improved workflows
    • improved waste performance,
    • decreased risk exposure,
    • workforce stability,
    • employee engagement,
    • consumer complaint reduction,
    • teamwork,
    • improved staff capabilities
    • reduction in corrective actions and near misses,
    • reduction in maintenance issues
    • staff retention

How can food safety culture function at your business?

  • Firstly, every food business has a food safety culture.
  • However, the level of cultural maturity varies between all food businesses, which is the nature of personalities and of all businesses.
  • In a business seeking a strong food safety culture, maturity can be based on how a business makes food safety decisions, for example, how does your business and its people prioritise food safety in decisions and actions? It will also depend on leadership, the level of commitment by the business, trust, and investment in people, particularly around capabilities and knowledge.
  • Basing food safety culture on a model and/or a strategy can assist by providing a foundation, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and defining the cultural roadmap for the business and its people.

Food safety culture links and resources