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South Africa: SITCO Leding Inspections fills a vital gap in market

An independent quantity and quality inspection service was established two years ago to fill an important gap in South Africa and across the world and it has proved to be an inspired move.

SITCO Leading Inspections was established two years ago to deal with a demand in the inspection industry for a new, competitive role player. Since then the company has shown significant growth in South Africa, Africa and internationally. By forming associations and partnerships across the world, SITCO’s founding has proofed to be an inspired move.

Jacques de Kock, Head of SITCO Fresh and Processed Produce

SITCO is now one of the leading players in the field of independent quality assurance and verification and has cemented a wide footprint in the fresh produce, agricultural commodity and minerals and metals sector.

In just two short years SITCO has shown that its services are not only vital in the successful production and marketing of products from these sectors in South Africa, but it has also built an impressive network and client base across Africa and the rest of the world. This reduces the risk for clients and contributes to the long term sustainability of their businesses.

“As requirements from buyers of fresh produce, agricultural commodities and minerals and metals increase, the demand for independent inspection and verification services will become more important, both inside and outside South Africa,” says James Moore, SITCO’s General Manager. He says the fact that SITCO is ISO certified, and works with ISO accredited laboratories, means that clients can trust its services.

“The volumes we are handling are growing year on year,” says Jacques de Kock, Head of SITCO Fresh and Processed Produce, “and it shows demand for independent quality assurance and quantity verification is growing rapidly. It also shows increasing confidence from our clients in our ability to deliver this essential service to them.”

Mr De Kock says since SITCO’s establishment, its growth in the South African fresh fruit sector has been impressive. “SITCO’s inspection business in fresh fruit in South Africa has shown impressive, if not spectacular, growth during the past year, rising from only 2 million cartons in 2010 to more than 20 million cartons this year. This now represents 10% of the total South African fresh fruit export volume.” Volumes of white and yellow maize inspected in South Africa, as well as soya beans, wheat and sesame seeds have grown significantly over the past two years as well.

In Africa, SITCO’s agricultural commodity business has expanded even môre rapidly. “In Egypt, for instance, we have handled the inspection of 60 000 tonnes of wheat and this business continues to grow. For SITCO’s metals and minerals division the growth has also been evident. “To date, SITCO has inspected over 18 000 tonnes of fertilizer.” says Mr Moore.

Independent quality assurance and verification in fresh produce is definitely increasing due to a changing environment which is forcing leading international and local retailers to increasingly work directly with their suppliers. Growers are also exposed to greater risks due to environmental and food safety requirements. This risk is increased because they can simply not afford to ship any products which will not meet the tough standards to which the products will have to conform on arrival at their customers.
“Although different in character, the same applies to agricultural commodities and minerals and metals,” says Mr Moore. “Local and international buyers increasingly want to deal only with suppliers when they can be absolutely sure that what they’ve been promised in supply contracts are actually being delivered. The same applies in the delivery of fertilizers and goods back to the producer.”

In this regard SITCO has become the watchdog for producers who want to ensure that the fertilizers they buy also makes the grade. Mr Moore says the reason for success during the past two years is because SITCO Leading Inspections focuses on customised innovative services and solutions to meet the needs of clients. “The primary objective for SITCO is to ensure quantity and quality compliance, and therefore reducing the risk for our clients.”

He says the major advantage of working with SITCO is the company’s ability to operate with quick turn-around times and giving clients same day reports and information about their products. “Whether it is fresh fruit, grains, fertilizers or minerals and metals, we have well-trained and experienced staff who know their products inside out. Most importantly, we are located in the regions where the products are produced and where they are shipped from. We are literally on our clients’ doorsteps.”

Internationally, the company now has accredited service providers in African countries such as Uganda, Angola, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia, and also serves Madagascar and Mauritius. It also has representation in Europe and Asia as well as Bangladesh, India, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia. “We are a truly global, independent, third party inspection and verification business,” says Mr Moore.
Based on the expertise of a motivated and highly qualified local and international team, and through its ISO certification, SITCO Leading Inspections is quickly building a reputation of a trusted partner in the field of independent inspection and verification in the three major sectors in which it conducts its business. Through representation located close to its customers SITCO can react quickly to customer needs and have quick turnaround times which allow customers to make informed decisions and run their business more effectively. Through its international network SITCO can give its clients peace of mind wherever they operate in the world.
“It is our vision to enhance trade in all the sectors we operate in through the promotion and implementation of world class quality control and verification,” concludes Mr Moore.

For more information:
SITCO Leading Inspections
Tel: +27 (0)11 450 1110
Fax: +27 (0) 86 527 7540

Publication date: 2/15/2012


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