The primary objective of the Dairy Standard Agency (DSA) is the promotion of compliance with product composition and food safety standards relating to milk and other dairy products in the interest of the industry and the consumer.
The primary objective of the Dairy Standard Agency (DSA) is the promotion of compliance with product composition and food safety standards relating to milk and other dairy products in the interest of the industry and the consumer. The DSA’s existence is the direct result of the acceptance of a strategic approach by the organised dairy industry (Milk SA, SAMPRO and the MPO). Following its establishment in 2002, the DSA as non-profit company developed into a dynamic objective organisation which acts strictly according to scientific principles, independent from commercial interests which may affect the organisation.
To achieve its objectives and as a starting point, great emphasis was placed on the monitoring of fresh milk sold in the retail. A comprehensive programme was subsequently put into motion in co-operation with local authorities (who are legally responsible for enforcing food safety standards).
Strategic development of proactive and reactive approaches followed and the DSA soon embarked on the route of more demanding and multi-dimensional tasks due to its involvement in the regulatory environment to product composition, food safety, animal health, animal feed, milking parlours, the transportation of milk, processing plants and storage.
With integrity as a key aspect, effectiveness and efficiency of the management and administrative systems of the DSA has ever since remained a priority. Today the DSA manages a total of 19 projects (statutory and non-statutory funded) of which the majority of the projects are statutory funded by Milk SA. These projects amongst other include:
- The monitoring of fresh milk in co-operation with local authorities;
- Direct personal contact with processers regarding non-compliance with legal standards in order to prevent a re-occurrence;
- Communication with the relevant departments responsible for six different laws pertaining to dairy and the enforcement of thereof namely:
- Department of Health, provincial health departments and municipal health authorities
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
- National Regulator of Product Specifications (NRCS) and the application of the relevant regulations in terms of the Trade Metrology Act, 1973 (Act 77 of 1973).
- Support to law enforcement officers e.g. environmental health practitioners, allowing them to better apply the benefits of the DSA’s fresh milk monitoring programme in respect of the improved enforcement of the standards (mainly food safety standards) for which they (EHPs) are responsible.
- The promotion of the use of existing DSA guidelines and manuals, especially by processors and raw milk producers;
- Auditing of raw milk production units and dairy plants, at the request of and for the account of those requesting it;
- Workshops on request.