Promoting the improvement of dairy quality and safety

in the interest of the dairy industry and the consumer

Who is the DSA?

The Dairy Standard Agency (DSA) is a registered non-profit company (NPC) in terms of the new Companies Act, 2008 (Act 71 of 2008). The primary objective of the DSA is the promotion of the compliance of milk and other dairy products with product composition, food safety and metrology standards.

The DSA1) serves as an objective organisation which acts according to scientific information and functions independent of commercial interests that may affect the organisation’s actions.

The DSA as an Organisation:

  • Has a Board of Directors consisting of members who satisfies the qualification and eligibility requirements set out in the Companies Act and have no commercial interest in any enterprise in the primary or secondary dairy industry;
  • DSA membership consists of the SA National Consumer Union, the Milk Producers’ Organisation, the South African Milk Processors’ Organisation and the South African Society of Dairy Technology;
  • Has an established technical committee comprising of scientists who are specialists in the matters handled by the DSA.
  • Has an established enterprise risk management program that is maintained through its Audit and Risk Committee to ensure alignment of DSA project activities with the company as well as Milk SA objectives and strategies.

The DSA follows a strategic approach, developed in 2010/2011, aimed at directing the DSA during the current and following statutory levy periods. The approval of the strategic approach was the result of a comprehensive consultation process which was unanimously accepted by its members. Based on this strategic approach, the DSA is progressively executing and maintaining its project in line with its primary goal, which is to promote the improvement of dairy quality and safety in the interest of the industry and wellbeing of the consumer.

The strategic development relating to proactive and reactive approaches, which are covered by DSA project goal activities, assist the DSA to remain relevant and make valuable contributions especially in terms of the demanding and multi-dimensional tasks of the regulatory environment in which the DSA is, directly and indirectly, involved in.

The DSA acknowledges the importance of product compliance with product composition, food safety and metrology standards as a prerequisite for the growth of the dairy industry. This is due to the fact that substandard products reaching the retail can cause extensive and prolonged harm to both the industry and the consumer. The promotion of compliance with standards relating to milk and other dairy products, remains a demanding and multi-dimensional task, because of:

  1. the involvement of regulations relating to product composition, food safety, animal health, animal feed, milking parlors, the transportation of milk, processing plants and storage;
  2. the regulations referred to in (a) were issued in terms of five different laws and the enforcement of these laws is the responsibility of:

Department of Health, Provincial Health Departments and Municipal Health Authorities

in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972)

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
In terms of the Agricultural Product Standards Act, 1990 (Act 119 of 1990); the Animal Health Act, 1984 (Act 35 of 1984); and the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, 1947 (Act 36 of 1947)

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)

 

The DSA’s activities are determined by its mandate as documented in the company’s Memorandum of Incorporation, namely:

  • Monitoring of milk and other dairy products;
  • Communication with industry and other stakeholders;
  • Support service to the dairy industry and other stakeholders (Government and other private institutions).

The DSA has progressively moved forward to a landscape where today it is well-recognised and respected by the respective government bodies, the organised primary and secondary dairy industry and other stake holders, namely national consumer bodies and the retail sector on a national level.

In accordance with the above and within the framework of its current strategy, the DSA statutory and non-statutory project activities are also at best balanced in a manner that optimises the available resources.

1) 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). The approach is aimed at increasing the market for milk and other dairy products, the improvement of international competitiveness of the South African dairy industry and the empowerment of previously disadvantaged people.

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