Pakistan


Challenges of food security in Pakistan can be dealt through ISO 22000- FSMS

Food safety describes the methods of handling, preparing and storing food in such a way so that food borne illness can be prevented. It is necessary to follow some steps in order to ensure safety of food as lives of many depend on this food that you provide to them. A number of routines are needed to be followed to prevent potential health hazards. The tracks within this line of thought are safety between industry and the market and then between the market and the consumer.

With technological advances the production and use of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides has significantly increased due to which food is now not in its pure form. Moreover these chemicals are harmful to human body therefore our lives are at stake. Every human needs food to survive and we need to make sure that what we eat doesn’t harm us. For this we put our faith on the suppliers and it is the duty of these suppliers to take care of the safety of our lives and of the food they are providing. This can be done very easily through the use of standards.

ISO 22000 is a globally accepted international standard, which specifies the requirements for food safety management systems. Established in 2005, ISO 22000 is applicable to all organizations involved in the food chain, whose main objective is to ensure food safety. ISO 22000 is used along with requirements for prerequisite programs for the appropriate industry sector. ISO’s food safety management standards help organizations identify and control food safety hazards. As many of today’s food products repeatedly cross national boundaries, International Standards are needed to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain. It maps out what an organization needs to do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe. It can be used by any organization regardless of its size or position in the food chain. Also it ensures that an organization is providing quality food.

With a greater focus on risk-based thinking and aligned to ISO’s high level structure, the new ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems can deliver additional benefits to organizations  of all sizes throughout the food chain:

  • Improved control over food safety activities
  • Customer, statutory and regulatory compliance
  • Facilitated market growth
  • Increased customer, stakeholder and consumer confidence in products
  • Improved risk management
  • Integration with other ISO management systems

The main advantage of ISO 22000 is that it is a general standard, so its principles can be used for all kinds of food/feed industries dependent on risk assessment thinking. It gives a company responsibility for handling its own production and products based on its own knowledge and experience. Of course, the whole system relies on appropriate documentation and analysis, and third-party auditing ensures that the company lives up to an acceptable level of quality for a modern food industry.

Your customers are greatly benefited as they get safe food, better quality of services and moreover a stress free life. This in turn boosts your business and the people think of you as a good company. When you take care of the health of others than people will come to you themselves. As you develop a relation of trust with them.  In contrast to this those companies who do not focus on customer health will suffer due to their irrational thinking. All companies certified by this standard share the same food safety language and all these standards are accepted worldwide. The more you use them the better lifestyle you can have.

 


Implementation of life and fire safety code NFPA-101 in Pakistan

NFPA which is the National Fire Protection Association has developed numerous standards that play an important role in every building, process, service, design and installation. One of the most notable features about NFPA’s code development process is that it is open and consensus-based. This means anybody can participate in the development of these important documents. All NFPA codes and standards are periodically reviewed by more than 9,000 volunteer committee members with a wide range of professional expertise. The purpose of a building’s life safety system is to reduce the potential risks to life as well as the property from various threats. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed life safety codes to protect people’s lives based on the building construction, protection, and occupancy features.

These codes are very important in today’s times when the risk factors have greatly increased. Nowadays we see more incidents involving buildings catching fire and this is why now we need these codes more than ever.

Where ever people go in their daily lives, there are certain codes which need to be followed e.g. limited number of occupancy in a building, the placement of fire extinguishers, exit signs for the quickest way out, doors to be kept closed, but not locked to prevent the spread of fire, etc.  In your own home there are fire codes that go hand in hand with your local building and construction codes. There must be alarms situated in points of the home to detect smoke. Each room must have a window that allows you to escape a fire. Some homes may require sprinklers like many apartments and condominiums.

Installing a nice fireplace in your lounge requires fire safety codes that you must abide by. Your water heater has to be installed to code and don’t forget the comfortable sofa that you sit on; all the materials used in the making has to be fire resistant. Our lives are basically ruled by different types of codes and ordinances that are put in place for everyone’s safety. Fire codes prohibit blocking the fire exits in any type of public building, such as office buildings, hospitals, clinics, restaurants and apartment units. 

The most important place where these need to be implemented are at the factories and big companies where thousands of people work on daily basis. Pakistan has faced some of the worst fire incidents that have killed thousands and brought financial losses as well. The fire incidents kill 16,500 people and leave 164,000 injured or disabled every year across the country but the government is yet to adopt a National Fire Safety Policy to control the situation. The country witnessed the worst fire incident in Karachi recently that claimed around 300 lives. The Federal Capital is also no exception as it had also experienced inferno incidents at Marriott Hotel, UBL Building and commercial plazas. Therefore it is clear that our country needs these set of codes as soon as possible. Only with the implementation of these policies we can save lives and properties.

With the NFPA-101 you can limit the danger brought to you by fire, smoke, heat and toxic fumes in a minimum budget. Therefore not only will this save lives and property but your money as well. It includes protective features and systems, building services, operating features, maintenance activities, and other provisions for additional safeguards that meet the need for providing adequate protection for building occupants from fire. The Life Safety Code can also be used for non-fire emergencies, as its provisions, addressing hazardous materials emergencies, injuries from falls, emergency communications, and means of egress, can be effectual in providing life safety under varying circumstances. Therefore do not ignore this situation and make this code a part of your life so that you can live a tension free life.

 


Use of ISO 23045 can improve the house design in NAYA Pakistan Housing scheme

Providing a roof over the heads of every citizen of the country is every government’s primary responsibility. Fortunately PTI has started to address this issue with a lot of sincerity and is rapidly working towards the completion of affordable houses for the lower class and middle class stratum of Pakistan.

The government has taken the initiative to overcome the shortfall of over 10 million houses through the NAYA Pakistan housing scheme. Every year the population increases however the number of houses does not. Many people are not able to construct a house and this is the reason that a majority of our population has no roof over their heads. With this housing scheme the government aims to provide homes to those in need.

The salient features of this housing are as following:

  • Increase buying power by providing loans of longer tenure that is for fifteen to twenty years.
  • Reduce cost by standardizing design and specifications.
  • Reduce cost by significantly cutting down the approval time.
  • Develop new communities with access to infrastructure.
  • Reduce the upfront cost of builders by providing them land in installments and minimum time for approvals and infrastructure before start of construction.
  • Provide project loans to builders so that they can complete housing project in the shortest possible time thus improving their ROI and at the same time reduce the investment period thus reducing the overall cost for the end consumer the main objective of this scheme

It is envisaged that by the above measures the cost would be 15 to 20% lower than the current market price and by providing long term loans we would enhance the number of people who can afford housing by 100% in the first three years. Currently only about half a million people can afford to buy homes and apartments every year, this project aims to change that. However, the goal is not just to provide a roof rather build efficient houses which are beneficial to the people and the country. Implementation of international standards can help us build such houses with ease.

One of the standards focusing towards this cause is ISO 23045; ISO 23045 is one of a kind standard that provides guidelines on establishing energy efficient in buildings.

The objectives of ISO 23045:2008 are to assist designers and practitioners when collecting and providing the useful data that are required at different stages of the design process and to fulfill the definitions of the building as prepared by building designers. This International Standard applies to new buildings and is applicable to space air-conditioning equipment and the heating plant in new buildings. Introducing energy efficiency in the design process leads to a reduction in energy demand through a global approach to the building, including analysis of the building location, definition of the building envelope, energy systems and products.

The building sector is recognized as a major contributor to the build-up of greenhouse gases. These emissions of COto the atmosphere could be reduced significantly through the application of International Standards relating to the energy-efficient design of buildings and building mechanical equipment.

Moreover this standard helps to increase rational use of natural resources and ISO 23045:2008 will help the building sector design buildings to a specified level of efficiency. ISO 23045:2008 will assist in collecting and providing information regarding the energy efficiency of the building under consideration, conducting the iterative process to ensure improved energy efficiency of buildings and obtaining the target values for energy efficiency ratios used in labeling or information to public or/and consumers.

This project is one of the most important and major project of the current government therefore the use of international standards will help it achieve its goals in a more efficient and cost effective way. This initiative will give a boost to the construction industry, jump start economy and bring prosperity in the region.

 

 

 


Reducing carbon footprint made easy through ISO 14067!

When you drive a car, the engine burns fuel which creates a certain amount of CO2, depending on its fuel consumption and the driving distance. When you heat your house with oil, gas or coal, then you also generate CO2. Even if you heat your house with electricity, the generation of the electrical power may also have emitted a certain amount of Carbon dioxide.

Your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame. Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for the time period of a year. With passage of time the growth of industries and increased population has added to the amount of CO2 in the air. Thus now we are all suffocating in the heat of global warming and If this situation continues to increase than the time is not far away when the whole population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves!

ISO 14067

The only solution is to reduce our carbon footprint, but first we need to know how do we measure it? ISO 14067 is the solution to this problem, with this standard comes globally agreed principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification and reporting of the carbon footprint of a product (CFP). It will give organizations of all kinds a means to calculate the carbon footprint of their products and provide a better understanding of ways in which they can reduce it. ISO 14067 is part of the ISO 14060 family of standards for quantifying, monitoring, reporting and validating greenhouse gas emissions to support a low-carbon economy.

Benefits

It allows organizations to more accurately see where the main impacts on their carbon footprint are generated related to the production of their products, and thus take appropriate actions to reduce it. For example, if it is related to raw materials, they can investigate using others, or if it is related to transport, they can look at improvements to their logistics model or investigate suppliers or distributors closer to home. To live better lives we need to adopt these principles. That way we can save ourselves from a painful and deadly death. If we continue to ignore the situation than this footprint will expand and soon our chances of our survival will reduce drastically. The best solution to all these environmental issues is ISO 14067 and if we start to put in efforts than results will be visible. If people start to take care of the CO2 emission’s caused by them and try to reduce it, only then we can think of saving our Earth. By reducing our carbon footprint we can reverse the climate chaos and consequent food and water supply disruption we see now.

ISO 14067 is consistent with other environmental standards as well, for instance, ISO 14025 (environmental labels and declarations), ISO 14044 (lifecycle assessment), and BSI PAS 2050 (specification for the assessment of the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services). After implementing this standard companies can easily calculate and reduce carbon emissions. They will benefit the society and themselves. Nowadays most of the companies that cause any direct or indirect harm to environment are targeted and more than that they are discouraged. With increased awareness people have realized that they need to care for their environment in order to survive themselves. This standard has quickly become popular due to its immense benefits and timely implementation of this standard by organizations will help us to fight the menace of global warming more aptly.

 

 

 


Pakistan’s tourism industry is an undiscovered gold mine!

Tourism activities have been considered as vital source of economic growth. It propels a country in the generation of income and employment for both formal and informal sectors. Tourism supplements the foreign exchange earnings derived from trade in commodities and also finances the import of capital goods necessary for the nourishment of manufacturing sectors in economy.

ISO 21401 affects tourism

Sustainable services and products are the necessary requirements of a client or tourist. This system was developed to specifically meet the demands of tourism. Observing the increase in tourism around the globe the client has become cautious and responsible in their approach opting for the suitable and viable destination.

The management system can be used by any type, size and geographic location. It also includes the aspect of sustainability that must be managed by accommodation establishments such as;

Environmental dimensions: water consumption and its conservation, energy waste generation and production. Lastly, this includes protection of fauna and flora.

Social dimensions: substantial increase in work and income, also valorization of culture and development of local communities.

Economic dimension: prevention of accidents with customers and employees for customer satisfaction and economic viability of the enterprise.

Implementation of this system contributes to business objectives, reduces cost, and improves the relationship between the supplier and community. It is also a modern way of doing business, all accommodation establishments can make strategic decisions based on the information and data related to positive and negative aspects of environment, social and economic dimensions.

Tourism in Pakistan

Pakistan possessed a large potential regarding tourism because of its diverse and well preserved culture ranging from the coastal areas of Karachi and Gwadar in Baluchistan to Baadshahi mosque in Lahore to ravishing and exquisite valleys of the north like Hunza and Swat, to name a few.

Government of Pakistan has shifted its attention to the depreciating condition of historical sites and landmarks. There is a need for the renovation and preservation of our heritage to attract tourists. Due to the lack of international standards in Pakistan the flow of tourists has reduced, which ultimately left several sites in poor state. Tourism being a major part of the economy if developed and resurrected can add to the GDP of the country.

Tourism can help create employment opportunities for Pakistanis and improve the tarnished image of our homeland across the globe.

Pakistan must employ this management system within its tourism industry to keep facilitating not only the tourists but tourism industry as well.

Tourism industry is one of the largest industries of our country. Pakistan is a land of countless opportunities and endless potential. We need to tap into this field and look after it. Not only will it put up a good picture of our country, it can certainly provide economic benefits as well.

About time the governing bodies give this a much need thought and do something about it.


Combating terror financing through implementation of ISO 9001

International Organization for Standardization is a voluntary body that creates standards for management systems of companies that deals in good satisfying consumers through production and delivery of safe and reliable products.

ISO was established in 1947 and since then it has come up with several thousand standards for companies of all sorts: large or small, government or private, rural or urban. The size, class or area doesn’t matter for certification from ISO.

What is ISO 9001 Quality Management System?

It is one of the famous and most effective standards of all standards of ISO. Like many other standards, ISO 9001 was released in two, the latest edition came to the forefront in 2015.

The ISO 9001 is a Quality Management System (QMS) that describes the requirements for an organization to maintain quality in their services. It demands the companies to follow the guidelines to consistently produce products and services that their customers approve of and recommend. It is a constant effort on the organization’s end to come up with ways to improve their amenities that satisfies their consumers’ needs.

This certification is the primary requirement of every company that believes in keeps its customers satisfied and loyal to their brand. It is a struggle to keep the quality and standard of the companies’ processes and dealings of its employees in check.

Keeping things in check does require a little effort on workers end but the end results are worth all the effort. According to a survey 78% of the respondents claimed that ISO 9001 certification brought in positive results for their company and that their time and money did not go to waste.

Keeping Quality Management and Finances in check

ISO 9001 ensures quality management from the very first step to the very last. From finances generated to fund the projects to production of goods with those finances and then delivering those products to the consumers, every step is evaluated by the certification body.

When it comes to using the finances fairly, Pakistan gets in trouble. There have been cases in the past where both government and private organizations have been involved in money laundering and funding organizations supporting and proliferating terrorist based activities. Even now Pakistan is under strict surveillance of FATF after being grey-listed post Pulwama attacks in Indian held Kashmir.

ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems can help the finances in check. This standardization will ensure that the companies train its employees according to the standard’s guidelines, and form a monitoring body that oversees all the processes.

Once the influx and the out flux of the money is monitored, funding of terrorist groups can be curbed too. Not only that, people involved in such heinous acts can be caught too.

The ruling government must make it mandatory for all the big and small, government and private companies to get ISO 9001 certification. This will warn all the companies, groups and individuals who have been a part of these illegal deeds and help fight the war against terror.


ISO 22000: Ensuring food safety for a better & healthier life

With the growing population, the demand for food also increases. Food is a necessity and for some food is life but what if this food becomes life threatening? No one wants to put their life in danger rather would always prefer safe and healthy food.

Nothing can be more important than the health of a person and ISO 22000 makes sure that you get the quality food you deserve. Even if the world’s population may eat different things depending on their age, wealth and availability of stuff, the food industry impacts every person. Thus this industry has a massive effect on the whole population and needs to properly cater to the needs of this increasing population.

Food safety management

The ISO 22000 family of International Standards addresses food safety management. The consequences of unsafe food can be serious and ISO’s food safety management standards help organizations identify and control food safety hazards. As many of today’s food products repeatedly cross national boundaries, International Standards are needed to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.

It sets out the requirements for a food safety management system and can be certified to. It maps out what an organization needs to do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe. It can be used by any organization regardless of its size or position in the food chain.

Why eating places need to be certified?

A person feels better if he or she knows that the place they are eating at is certified and of good standard. It increases your chances of attracting customers and in turn more profits generated. Nowadays many places do not give food quality any value and this has resulted in more safety hazards. Therefore finding a certified place in this dreadful time is a blessing.

In fact it is the responsibility of food companies to make sure that their customers get the right thing. It helps to build trust between the two. The main advantage of ISO 22000 is that it is a general standard, so its principles can be used for all kinds of food/feed industries dependent on risk assessment thinking.

Knowing whether ISO 22000 is right for you and your organization is simple: It works for each company, regardless of size or location. Outlining best practices within your company will allow you to deliver results, convey confidence across the board and impress stakeholders and consumers. It gives a company responsibility for handling its own production and products based on its own knowledge and experience. Of course, the whole system relies on appropriate documentation and analysis, and third-party auditing ensures that the company lives up to an acceptable level of quality for a modern food industry.

ISO 22000 has a strong consensus throughout the world and gives developing countries a source that represents what the food safety standards must be in each country. Such standards allow countries to have defined characteristics of what their product and service standards should be to meet export market expectations. Because developing countries are just that—developing—this gives them the ability to meet standards for exporting food, which helps them avoid complications.

Better be safe

When food safety practices fail, dangerous and often extremely expensive consequences may result. Preventing potential problems before they happen through the implementation of food safety standards can rescue an organization from losses of all kinds. Therefore to avoid all sorts of complications it is better to be certified. One right decision at the right time saves you from a lot of hassle. Therefore don’t delay this process and get certified as soon as possible. With this standard you can enjoy various benefits such as higher quality jobs in the food industry, improved utilization of resources worldwide, increased company profits, Potential increased economic growth, Insurance of safer food and much more.

 

 


PM’s anti-corruption drive can be augmented by ISO 37001 standard

The Anti-corruption drive of PM Imran Khan

Prime minister Imran Khan visualized an anti-corruption campaign. He pledged a ‘strict accountability’   and a ‘crackdown’ against the people who looted the country and left it to its misery.

Primary action was the establishment of ARU (Assets recovery unit) with its headquarters located in the Prime Minister’s office.  ARU tasks enforces the retrieval of hidden assets overseas and it comprises of bank of officials and all the representatives from the government intelligence agencies. It targets high level corruption collecting details of illegal foreign accounts and assesses information within a period of seven days.

The history of ISO 37001

Anti-bribery management system is a management standard formed to help organizations against corruption that ensure the culture of integrity, transparency and compliance. As corruption has been the most destructive and challenging issue of the world. It affects the quality of life and increases poverty.  Anti-bribery protocol is appointing a person that over sees the anti-bribery compliance, manages training of the officials and assess the risk. It came in effect in the year 2016.

Organizations need due diligence on their projects, business associates and implement a financial and commercial control. This demonstrates the stakeholders that they have to enhance the control they already have by putting in place the internationally recognized, good practice anti-bribery method. It’s a flexible tool that can be adapted according to the size and nature of the organization.

ISO 37001 is a management system that is not limited to a certain type of organization. It can be used by government, public and non-profit organizations.

Not only is this system for all but it also adds to the credibility of an organizations. This certification serves as a warning to all those people and organizations who want to have an under the table deal, or are interested in giving or taking bribes. It is also a threat to the employees of an organization that any illegal dealing can lead to serious repercussions to the individual and the company too.

ISO 30071 Certificate in effect

Having strong documentation that outlines anti-bribery procedures provide a common platform for companies to work off with. Most importantly ISO 37001 promotes the culture of ethics in an organization and sends a clear zero tolerance statement to employees against bribery.

Certification in affect results in effectively preventing bribery which ultimately saves adequate amount of time and money in the run. A bribery scandal can sabotage a company’s reputation and also stain an individual’s political career.

ISO 37001 and the Anti-corruption drive

Both the anti-bribery management system and the anti-corruption drive go hand in hand. Now the current government can make it mandatory for companies to be certified by ISO 37001 to ensure transparency. Officials must be appointed under the ISO 37001 in State Owned Entities to regularly monitor the flow of money in these organizations to catch the culprits and take a step towards putting an end to this corruption spree in Pakistan. This is certainly the need of the hour and through this certification proper monitoring bodies will be formed that will ensure that the anti-corruption coupled with the anti-bribery management system are running effectively.


How will standardization in Pakistani industry promote exports?

Standardization means that your employees have an established, known and time-tested process to use. Standardization is the only factor that if achieved can result in decreased ambiguity and guesswork. Moreover it guarantees quality and helps to boost productivity that in turn increases sale and profits. Your company’s operations consist of tasks that must be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis to ensure that it runs smoothly.

But if these processes aren’t standardized, you’re inviting chaos. Every process requires rules that define the scope, quality, and methods to be followed. If you don’t standardize these rules, you can’t have visibility over whether you’re ensuring quality and reducing human error. So standards help you to do smart work instead of hard work.

Pakistan’s economic situation 

Pakistan has done fairly well economically since her independence more than six decades ago and is the 27th largest economy in the world with a per capita income of more than US$3500 in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. However, its exports performance has been lackluster and far below her potential, constituting a meager 0.15% of total world exports. It becomes all the more depressing if compared with other countries which started their development process at the same time as Pakistan and with almost the same initial conditions but now have moved much far ahead than us. The reason behind it is the lack of quality in our products. Our competitors have used these quality standards to excel in the market. We can also increase our exports by incorporating these standards in our industries. There should be strict quality control measures even for domestic sale of goods and services to make our producers quality conscious. At the same time compulsory quality certification along with subsidy to the manufacturers of high quality products is urgently needed.

However it should be complemented with the establishment of facilitation centers by the state to reduce the costs of production and ensuring quality of finished products. The ISO 9000 family addresses various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best known standards. The standards provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet
customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved. Specifically ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system. It can be used by industries of any size and after being ISO 9001 certified you can provide your customers with consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings business benefits.

The way forward

Being certified by these international standards your company will gain an identity in the market and help you to compete with your competitors. Your quality products will be accepted and approved. . In fact, industry-wide standards play a vital role in our increasingly globalized world. 84% of the company’s surveyed use European and International Standards as part of their export strategy, in order to conform to foreign standards. Therefore if Pakistan follows the same path than our exports will increase steadily as well. Pakistan will gain potential competitive advantage through standards and cost reduction can also be achieved. Companies will also have increased confidence in the quality and reliability of our products therefore they will approach us rather than anyone else.
Standards are closely linked to the International trade and are an important part of modern industrial process. When you provide better quality products than your competitors than international markets prefer you over them. Pakistan can also become a major supplier of goods, only if we work on our standards. Once we meet the foreign requirements than nothing can stop our products from being accepted at an international platform.