The COVID-19 pandemic has tested everyone and every business. In terms of Dairysafe’s regulatory activity, the pandemic has clearly identified we need to build continuity planning into our regulatory audit function, particularly as Dairysafe has been unable to access our 3rd party audit provider (QCONZ) over the course of the pandemic due to their location in New Zealand and in Victoria.

“Succession and continuity planning are important for all businesses, and Dairysafe is no different,” said Geoff Raven, Dairysafe CEO.

“It’s for that reason that Dairysafe has sought to strengthen its capacity around technical capability and around audit.

“This has led us to appoint a Technical Manager as well as a new Food Standards Officer. We have been lucky enough to fill one of those roles from within our own ranks, while securing a new staff member with great experience in regulation and broad auditing capability for the other role.”

Craig Heard has been appointed as Dairysafe’s Technical Manager.

Many Dairysafe stakeholders will be familiar with Craig who has been with Dairysafe for almost two years.

“Craig has established himself as a specialist in managing food incidents, a skill he brought with him from PIRSA. Craig doesn’t shy away from high pressure situations and works with the business and SA Health to assist the resolution of an incident such as a food recall,” Geoff said.

The Technical Manager is a new role within Dairysafe, established to support succession contingencies and business continuity. The position is responsible for managing Dairysafe’s audit function, incident management, and providing high level technical advice.

Craig was successful in being selected in this role due to his specialist technical skills, his experience in food regulation and high-risk food manufacture.

Craig is a highly qualified and experienced food safety auditor possessing all scopes within the Level 4 Exemplar Global auditor certification range. He has a passion for promoting food safety culture and ensuring public health and safety outcomes are met, while also building relationships.

“Craig’s appointment to this position will have an extremely positive impact on Dairysafe and South Australian dairy businesses,” Geoff said.

Introducing Dairysafe’s new Food Standards Officer: Derene Szczerba.

Derene is a highly qualified auditor with a broad range of scopes within the Level 4 Exemplar Global auditor certification range, and has a Graduate Diploma Food and Beverage Technology

Derene developed her technical skills from working in dairy and poultry sectors in quality assurance, and then working in the regulatory space at PIRSA. She has gained experience working with seafood, poultry, game, dairy and eggs from processing, to supervising, to QA management and to regulations.

Derene recently completed seven years with PIRSA’s Food Safety Program working in the role of Senior Food Standards Officer, specialising in auditing of on-farm poultry and egg producers, conducting export audits of poultry processors.

Derene said auditing has been a career goal for many years and she has studied and developed her skills, working her way up through various commodity sectors. She’s now looking at the next step in her career journey to further enhance her skills and knowledge while continuing to implement and encourage a food safety culture in the primary produce sector.

Derene will support Fiona Little and Craig Heard within Dairysafe’s audit and regulatory team.

The Dairysafe team: Rocco Galluccio, Fiona Little, Craig Heard, Derene Szczerba and Geoff Raven.