Q&A with Mark Richardson, Quality Assurance Manager
Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 2/14/17
Mark holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Memphis, and he has 25 years of experience in spice and seasoning quality and food safety. Mark has enjoyed over 10 years at Fuchs North America, where he manages all aspects of quality and food safety for our North American facilities.
Q: How does Fuchs' quality program work?
A: Our quality program is a three tiered program. The first tier involves Vendor Assurance and FSMA compliance, supplier qualifications, and food safety capabilities. Suppliers are approved by Quality, Regulatory, Procurement, and R&D, and supplier approval requires vendors to comply with our requirements. Once a vendor is approved, we monitor them continuously, based on each lot of material that we receive from them. We score them on the total number of incidents as well as the severity of those incidents. We also require annual GSFI third party audits.
The second tier is our in-process continuous improvement program. We monitor the consistency of the production process at each stage, recording errors and assigning root cause and corrective actions. The purpose is to continuously improve. The third tier involves measurement of customer complaints. Fuchs’ focus is proactive rather than reactive. The first two tiers are in place to make sure that there are little to no customer complaints. Fuchs has realized considerable improvement because of this program.
With our three tiered program in place, our goal is always to have perfect ingredients, have a perfect process in place, leading to perfect products, every time.
Q: What kinds of certifications does Fuchs have?
A: Our facilities are GFSI certified, SQF Level 2 through the NSF certifying body. Fuchs has International HACCP Alliance Certification, and we’ve been Organic Certified and NOP compliant since 2012.
Q: There’s been a lot of buzz about FSMA lately. Can you explain what it is and explain what Fuchs has done to prepare for the changes that will be going into effect?
A: FSMA is the Food Safety Modernization Act, and Fuchs is currently compliant with FSMA. We have 6 members of our Quality Department trained in FSMA FSPCA Preventive Controls. The next part of FSMA to be launched is the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Fuchs’ Vendor Assurance Program already includes risked-based assessments based on ingredient categories.
Q: What is Fuchs' stance on sustainability?
A: The Fuchs Global Company is a committed partner toward sustainable practices. This includes our companywide recycling program, our energy efficient ETO chamber for spice processing, and monitoring of our facility air and greenhouse gas emissions.
Q: What would you like customers to know about Fuchs’ Quality Department?
A: Fuchs considers our Quality Department to be available as an asset for customers to contact regarding questions. Our team is available for consulting and technical questions regarding spices and seasonings. We want to be an additional resource, not just people who perform testing and analysis. We have a solid team of excellent people who add value to what we do.
Q: What's your favorite part of your role here at Fuchs?
A: My favorite part of my job is interacting with people and working together to solve problems.
To learn more about our Regulatory and Quality departments, click here.
- Fuchs Admin