By Letuka Chafotsa
MASERU — Lesotho Flour Mills Company has assured the nation of its compliance with desired and expected consumer protection standards set under the consumer protection policy.
Speaking at press briefing at the Lesotho Flours Mills premises on Tuesday, Marketing Manager Rethabile Shale said that the company prioritised consumers’ right to have access to non-hazardous products.
“We adhere to consumer protection unit standards because we believe our customers have the right to just, equitable and sustainable economic and social development, as well as environmental protection,” Shale said.
Quality Control Manager Lerato Kuoe also explained that products are monitored through laboratory tests to meet the expected and desired level of quality.
“Our tests start from the level of raw materials testing for moisture content, effect and management,” Kuoe said adding that moisture content can affect the quality of the product and quantity as well as grain storability which in turn affects economic return.
“International standards normally stipulate that the wheat quality is threatened when the moisture of stored grain exceeds 15 percent therefore we keep ours at 14 percent,” said Kuoe.
Speaking at same event the Sales Manager of Feeds Lebohang Khomari added that Lesotho Flour Mills offers standardised products of farm feeds.
Khomari added that their farm feed products known as “Makhulo” are of high quality and they go through several tests for verification to meet international standards.
To ensure product quality standard, the company uses the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system which Systems Coordinator Itumeleng Rantšo described as a preventive approach to food safety and biological, chemical and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished products to be unsafe and design measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level.
Lesotho Flour Mills was established in 1979. It is owned by the Lesotho government and Seaboard Milling Company — a global agribusiness company specialising in grain and protein based foods in African and South American markets.
Lesotho Flour Mills employs about 300 full time personnel where some, especially those in production, work in three shifts per day.
Products are categorised in four divisions namely: Lesotho Farm Feeds Mills (animals’ mills), Flour Mills with products like cake flour, easy bake and others, Lesotho Maize Mills which produces maize meal and samp and lastly the Lesotho Sugar Packers which packages sugar.
The milling company produces about 300 tonnes of flour, 240 tonnes of maize meal, 80 tonnes of farm feeds per day. On average they package 65 tonnes of sugar daily.
Up to 90 percent of Lesotho Flour Mills’ raw materials are sourced from South Africa while 10 percent are from Lesotho and other countries.
Lesotho Flour Mills has expressed the desire to increase its market share and export more products to South Africa and other countries.
Currently the company is reaching only a small percentage of the market and this is attributed to lack standards to develop their products.
Lesotho Flour Mills managers believe that standards would develop and ensure product conformity with technical and market requirements.
Supply-side constraints would also be removed for the company to develop competitive production capacity globally and further enhance integration with connectivity markets.
The upcoming set up of a bureau of standards by the Ministry of Trade could help Lesotho Flour Mills in this regard Lesotho Flour Mills in this regard.