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Posted 29/09/2021

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Adam Tyson, Australian National Quality Assurance Manager of Produco Australia

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Adam Tyson, Australian National Quality Assurance Manager of Produco Australia

In this edition of the Food Safety Select Member Spotlight Series, we ask Adam Tyson all about the services offered by the new Australian arm of the Produco venture, also known as Produco Australia. Well known for their expertise in food safety and regulatory compliance consulting, Produco has been successfully serving the Dairy, Food and Beverage, Horticulture, Wine, and Transport industries for more than 5 years.  

What is the story behind the establishment of Produco in Australia and how did you become involved?

Colin Oliver and his partner Gemma started the company some five years ago in Hamilton New Zealand, seeing a need for senior food safety leadership and regulatory guidance in the food and dairy industries.  

Colin gained extensive experience across New Zealand’s regulatory environment including NZ Standards development, regulatory interpretation, market access, and official assurance specification implementation through previous roles working for New Zealand’s leading dairy companies. They both have extensive experience in the food and dairy Industry and Gemma also has a marketing background.

I met Colin whilst on a 5-year working stint in New Zealand with Danone. He was managing the Quality piece for a sheep milk powder supplier to Danone for their infant formula, and I was the Supplier Quality Manager for Danone at the time.

He found out I was heading back to my wife in Australia, who had stayed in the country while I was based in NZ.  He shared with me his plans about expanding the company into Australia and asked if I might be interested. So that is how I ended up being the first employee of the Australian arm of the business.

Tell us about Produco and the problems you are solving for the Australian food industry.

While we do solve problems, we are also there to help companies expand and get better with what they do, especially their quality systems and certification. I have extensive knowledge in infant formula manufacturing and packing, as well as frozen food knowledge from my time at Nestle’. If I don’t have the knowledge or capacity to help a customer, I can draw on the knowledge base of our New Zealand arm of the business.

As a group, we implement systems for GFSI, food safety and control plans and we conduct supplier auditing, internal auditing, export eligibility work, HACCP plans, and many other quality-related matters. 

Our Food Scientist has recently developed a new vegan flavour range, Agave Vanilla for a wellness brand that produces daily probiotic shots.

We do not just serve the food and beverage industry either. Our quality systems knowledge is interchangeable and we have even helped stainless steel fabricators with their quality systems.

Who are Produco Australia’s customers? 

We have helped a sauce company expand into Ice Freezies by upgrading their HACCP plans and quality standards to a GFSI level.  We are currently working with a brewery that is expanding at breakneck speed to gain an FSSC22000 accreditation.  We have audited a supermarket supply kitchen so that they could improve their hygiene storage and overall systems capacity.  We are booked in to help a NZ company audit one of their Australian-based suppliers as they are unable to travel due to Covid19 restrictions (a growing trend in our current era).

We have even undertaken market research for innovative products that don’t necessarily fit into current categories.  Sometimes smaller companies just need a leg up to navigate the complex regulatory hurdles that will help their products to be safe, trusted, and broadly accepted.

How is Produco helping businesses with food safety and compliance? 

We have extensive knowledge of all facets of infant formula, in fact, we have over 60 years of experience between the Managing Director and NZ and Australian National Quality Managers. The hygiene standards required for this level of food manufacture are second only to pharmaceutical-grade systems. This level of compliance knowledge translates across different food and beverage categories, and we have extensive experience getting products into overseas export markets and meeting official assurance requirements.

Are your services affordable to small businesses?

We work with a range of companies; from small, single-person start-ups, SME businesses to large multinationals. We tailor our estimates for all different sizes of businesses as it depends on the complexity of the project.  Once we know what a customer requires from us, we can accurately assess the time and cost it will take to do the work.  We give them an hourly rate depending on the number of consultants needed and how long it is going to take with the scope that we have been given.  We can also adjust on the fly if the scope changes or expands.

If we can’t do it, which is very unlikely.  We generally know someone how can help!

Tell us about some of the advantages you have over your competitors.

There are many capable Quality Consultants in the Australasian market. Produco prides itself on our personal service and doing business with people.  Our attitude is that we are able to deal personally with the CEO of a multinational company all the way to the Hygienist on shift keeping the plant clean and tidy.  

We have a very multi-level, practical, and hands-on approach that comes from having worked at the coal face ourselves.  That is on-shift, operating machines, and experiencing the realities of manufacturing.  We have also held corporate positions historically and have a pool of very good coverage of academically trained people as well.

What sort of support is available to Produco Australia’s customers? 

It depends on what the customer wants.  From us being onsite for the day-to-day quality support to supplying document packages, auditing their suppliers, or even them.  We are available on both sides of the Tasman and are ready to travel at a moment’s notice; Covid19 restrictions allowing of course. However, the majority of our work is able to be completed remotely.

Where is Produco located and what areas do you service?

I am based in Drouin, West Gippsland. Victoria. An hour southeast of Melbourne. Our head office is in Hamilton, New Zealand, in the heart of Waikato on the North Island.  

We service all four corners of both countries currently and are happy to travel further internationally if, and when required.

What 3 words best describe Produco? 

How about I give you the 5 words of what Produco means in Latin; and is our mantra:

To Sustain and Move Forward

Click here to contact or learn more about Produco.

Article by: Food Safety Select

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