Quality & Production

QUALITY & PRODUCTION SYSTEM

Our quality control department is responsible to check all the raw and final materials to be complied with the company specification sheet.

RAW MATERIAL QUALITY CONTROL :

Received raw material and lots pass the following tests at reception:
1. labeled and traceable.
2. purity percentage.
3. packing material (clean and sealed).
4. color.
5. taste.
6. odor.
7. size.
8. percentage of oils.
9. insects and mold infections.
10. moisture percentage.
11. pesticice residues.
12. reception test records filed and kept will all test analysis results.

Final Product Quality Control:

Final products and lots pass the following tests before shipping:
• • labeled and traceable.
• • purity percentage.
• • packing material (brand new, clean and sealed).
• • color.
• • taste.
• • odor.
• • size.
• • percentage of oils.
• • insects and mold infections.
• • moisture percentage.
• • pesticice residues.
• • bacterial Total count.
• • all test analysis results kept.
• • reference sample be kept at the processing plant at least for the product shelf life ( 2 years).
• • Our company follows a restrict quality procedures a reference sample be analyzed from each shipped lot. Also random samples be taken from our farms (Product – crop – soil – water) for pesticide & microbial contamination detection.

Sampling methods:

Irrigation water sampling procedure:
• • Two liters of irrigation watyer should be filled in a clean dark-color glass-bottle labeled by (date – farm name – location – protocol …etc) And pre-water be taken from the end point of the irrigation canal, at the farm-entrance point .
• • Sample should be kept in an ice-box (in case of microbiology analysis) and send directly to the lab.
• • Sampling protocol format-supplied the lab be filled and delivered with the sample (copy be kept in firm office).
• • Result kept in fillies for inspection and internal audit

Soil Sampling Procedure:

• • Two sub samples each of about 2 kg be taken from the examined plot. Sample represent the area, every ha be represented by about 4-5 sampling point located on a cross way (x shape) all-over the examined plot. Depth of 2-20 cm max (active soil) be represented in the sample.
• • Clean new sampling polypropylene bags be used labeled by (date, farm name, plot location, protocol …etc).
• • the first sample to be send to lab (within 24 hr.) and the other one to kept in firm office for at least one month after receiving the testing results.
• • sampling protocol format-supplied by the labe be filled and delivered with the sample indicating the requested analysis (copy be kept in firm office).
• • Result kept in fillies for inspection and internal audit.
________________________________________

Crop Sampling Procedure:

• • Two sub samples each of about 2 kg be taken from the examined crop – plot. Sample represent the area, every ha be represented by about 4-5 sampling point located on a cross way (x shape) all-over the examined plot. Full plant or different heights be represented in the sample.
• • clean new un-treated paper bags sampling bags (polypropylene bags in case of un-availability) be used labeled by (date, farm name, plot, location, crop name, protocol ….etc).
• • Samples be kept at cooling condition and send as soon as possible to the lab.
• • the first sample to be send to lab and the other one to be kept in firm office (at cooling condition) for at least 15 days after receiving the testing results.
• • Sampling protocol format-supplied by the lab be filled and delivered with the sample indicating the requested analysis (copy be kept in firm office).
• • Result be kept in fillies for inspection and internal audit.
________________________________________

Product (Raw – Final Lot) Sampling Procedure:

• • Three sub samples each of about 2 kg be taken from the examined product- lot. Sample represent the lot, every 5 packages be represented by one sampling package. Different package depth be represented in the sample.
• • Clean new un-treaded polypropylene sampling bags be used labeled by (date, farm name, lot…, product name, protocol etc).
• • the first sample be send to lab (within 24 hr), the second one to be kept in firm office for at least as long as the product shelf life, the last sample to be send to the client if requested.
• • sampling protocol format-supplied by the lab be filled and delivered with the sample indicating the requested analysis (copy be kept in firm office).
• • Result be kept in fillies for inspection and internal audit.
• • • In case of any un-acceptable analysis result the quality manager be notified immediately for lot identification – separation – and ECOA – Naturland notification.
• • • Reference sample be kept from each shipped LOT for a time period not less than the product shelf life (2 years at least).
• • • Our company follows a restrict quality procedures a reference sample be analyzed from each shipped lot. Also random samples be taken from our farms (Product – crop – soil – water) for pesticide & microbial contamination detection.
________________________________________

Cultivation Standard Procedure

• • Cultivation activities within our approved supplier list are controlled through applying our high philosophy procedures in fertilization & plant protection. The quality control Department is responsible to make a check up visit to our approved supplier farms to follow the implementation of these procedures and to help farmers to understand what is behind this philosophy. .
• • All the crops produced within those fields are delivered to Nile Herbal processing facilities for final processing, quality control, & packing. All these approved suppliers are certified organic according to EEC2092/91 by ECOA, Egypt. .
• • No non-Organic activities take place on those approved supplier farms. All procedures and agricultural practices are clearly declared and mentioned below as well as within the farm OPHSP. • P .
________________________________________

Planting Material Standard Procedure

• • All Nile Herbal approved suppliers are mainly dedicated in cultivation of Organic herbs, spices & vegetables.
• • All cultivated seeds & seedling should be sourced from organic farms.
• • In-case of non-availability of the required crop & variety seeds in organic grade, conventional non-treated seeds or seedling may be used after getting necessary approval from the control body (ECOA / Naturland).
• • Seeds purchased records or document should be kept and maintained for at least five years within the whole documentation system.
• • All cultivated seeds & seedling should be GMO free, GMO is not allowed any how and any where.
• • As in our philosophy the selecting or choosing of the right and suitable variety and seed quality may be concerned as half of the crop cultivation activities. (i.e. may affect the crop quality & quantity by 50%). So, used seeds / seedlings should be free of pest, disease and weed infection. A visual inspection should be done on any used propagation material (seeds & seedling) to ensure its quality and suitability.
________________________________________

Plant Nutrition Standard Procedure

Since we are running our farms according to organic agriculture regulation & standards (NOP & EEC 2092/91), soil fertility within our approved supplying farms can be enhanced and maintained through the following main practices:-
• • Applying of a proper crop rotation, in addition to the cultivated target crops (found in NOP product list) leguminous, cereals and animal feed crops are grown to serve for crop rotation and bio-diversity. Shallow and deep roots plant should be alternative within each farm plot. Monoculture is forbidden.
• • o Legumes cultivation, legumes are introduced to serve the crop rotation program and for nitrogen fixation: ex, beans, clover….
• • Green manure is cultivated periodically to increase organic matter content and enhance soil structure. It is done by blowing the last cuts of plants in soil in some cases.
• • o Adding of proper compost, to provide plants by majors and minor nutrient elements in suitable and balanced structure. Proper ripe compost is produced internally in an open system by mixing animal manure+ plant residues and covering this pile by field soil (initial C:N ratio 40:1). The composting process takes at least 2 months in summer and 3 months in winter. Water should be sprayed weekly during this period and the pile should be turned twice a month at least. Temperature of the pile should be kept within a specified range (55 to 75 C o ) for at least 3 weeks. Natural rock meals may be added at the end of the process. Analysis of manure takes place at the end of process to verify C:N ratio (25:1), N2 and P2 O5 contents to be able to determine required quantity for each crop and the effectiveness of the applied composting process.
• • Use of fresh manure is forbidden.
• • Burning of plant residue is forbidden unless it is necessary for controlling diseases.
• • Plant analysis, to determine any lack or excess in nutrients to determine the effectiveness of the fertilization scheme (Only in case of deficient signs appearance).
• • Erosion control: by using wind brakes and green cover in case of sandy fields to control / prevent erosion.
• • Soil Covering: Covering the soil during summer and winter season. In case of permanent trees, natural soil weed are left as cover.
• • Using of sewage sludge (treated and / or non-treated) is forbidden.
• • Crop, soil and water contamination by excessive use of plant nutrition and or by of pathogenic organisms are avoided NOP National List for allowed and prohibited substance (205.601, 602 & 603) should be consulted to add or remove any material for / to off-farm input list. Inerts should conform to EPA List 4. .
• • The main philosophy is to build up a close eco-system inside the farm, enriching the bio-diversity, encourage maintaining an eco-balance, minimizing inputs and just get our products as outputs..
________________________________________

Processing Control & Product Flow Standard Procedure

• • Reception of Raw Materials “Fresh / Dry Herbs”.
• • Sorting “Manual”.
• • Sun Drying In Shad Drying Area.
• • Grading “Manual”.
• • Sorting “Manual”.
• • Crushing / Cutting “ If Needed".
• • Sealing & Labeling.
• • Packing.
• • Final Products.
• • Storing.
• • Quarantine & QC ( Visual Inspection, Color, Size, Taste, Purity %, Residue, Insect Infection).
• • QC & Reference Samples (Visual Inspection, Residue & Microbial Analysis).

As appeared from the previous figure the raw material passes through several steps reaching the final products. These steps can be summarized as follow:-

to contamination of one lot from a strange product or even between two different products will totally destroy the quality and the scent of the herb which is the core of our industry. Therefore, commingling and contamination will be avoided at firm level by the following practice:-
.
• • Reception: Only approved suppliers are able to provide raw materials to our firm. Primary checking of raw material takes place immediately after reception as descried in the Quality Control Standard Procedure, to decide whether lot is accepted or refused. Also organic proof (farm bill) should be accompanying the raw material and kept in files.
• • Sun Drying: In case of fresh herbs, sun drying takes place under shade.
• • Processing unit should be cleaned according to cleaning and sanitation procedure before starting any processing activities.
• • Sorting and grading is done manually sieving or by hands.
• • In case of seeds & TBC crushing or Lemongrass cutting is done after checking machine’s cleanliness and suitability.
• • Packing, weighing, and labeling manually..
• • Reference samples are collected by the quality control department, for carrying out the quality control tests, analysis activities as described at the quality control standard procedure. Part of this sample is kept as a reference sample at the company .
• • Final products are lastly stored at the firm stores till quality control dept. clearness and then shipping.
________________________________________

Packing, Labeling & Sealing Standard Procedure

• • Every produced package clearly labeled and sealed in compliance with NOP requirement.
• • New untreated packing material be used, well sealed and carrying our company label.
• • As all our produced items are mono-crops, "100 % NOP Organic" grade declared on the label.
________________________________________

Cleaning, sanitation & Pest Control Standards

• • Daily Procedure:- Every day at the starting time all the processing plant area should be swept and all utilities (severs / tables / …) should be dry cleaned.
• • Monthly Procedure: Plant processing hall should have a wet cleaning by a food grade cleaning material (PERAL Soap).
• • Seasonal Procedure:- At the beginning of every season all the plant processing area and stores should be wet cleaned by water and food-grade soap (PERAL).
• • Between every Lot and other : A full dry clean should be done to avoid any mixing contamination and commingling.
• • NO chemical materials are allowed to be used inside the processing plant and / or product stores.
• • Fly insects will be controlled by prevision and thunderbolts. Thunderbolt should be allocated at the plant entrance and far away from any product packages.
• • Rodents will be controlled at the processing plant & stores, by mechanical traps, with natural bait (e.g. fresh vegetable cuts). These traps will be allocated beside the walls and in corners. Traps allocation map will be kept. These traps is numbered and will be checked twice a week to ensure efficiency and remove any catch, and provide new fresh baits to be more attractive. Records will be kept for these traps to identify any hot spots for further actions.
• • Workers could only use water and soap for hygienic proposes, no other chemicals are allowed.
________________________________________

Contamination & Commingling Standard

Commingling and contamination will be avoided at farm level by the following practice:-
• • Green fences and boundaries are the main practice to avoid contamination e.g. wind drift in case of non-applicable, buffer zones should be utilized.
• • During Storage, organic Products will be labeled and stored in a specified organic store. Storing period should be minimized. No chemicals application is allowed inside stores.
• • Transportation: No Organic & non-Organic products are allowed to be transported in the same vehicle. Vehicle should be checked for cleanliness before loading.
• • Packing Material: Only new approved packing material is used. No loose packing is allowed. Labeling system should be obeyed.
• • In case of new buildings constructions prohibited materials are forbidden to be in contact with the soil.
• • No non-Organic activities take place on those approved supplier farms.
________________________________________
Any contamination of one lot from a strange product or even between two different products will totally destroy the quality and the scent of the herb which is the core of our industry. Therefore, commingling and contamination will be avoided at firmlevel by the following practice:-
• • Cleaning and sanitation standard procedure should be restrictly followed.
• • All materials should be labeled and packages should be well sealed.
• • No chemical materials are approved to be used inside the processing plant / store / shipping containers.
• • No chemical baits / materials are approved to be used inside the processing plant / stories.
• • During Storage, NOP organic Products will be labeled and stored in a specified organic store. Storing period should be minimized. No chemicals application is allowed inside stores.
• • Shipment: No chemical products or fumigation are allowed to be applied in the used shipping containers. The cleanness of the used containers should be checked.
• • Packing Material: Only new approved packing material is used. No loose packing is allowed. Labeling & sealing system should be obeyed.
• • Analysis activities results should confirm the effectiveness of our contamination and commingling procedures.
________________________________________

Tracing & Recall Standard procedure

• • Our company is operating by a simple loting system to ensure product traceability.
• • This system simply is an annual serial lot number, were a unique serial lot number is assigned for each shipped lot produced by the company.
• • Our lot number consist of three digits over the current annual year (i.e. xxx / 20yy).
• • This lot number can be linked in all processing format, sales, and shipping records.
• • Our filing system also gathered all shipping and processing record to facilitate tracing-back and product recall in any infringement and non-conformity situation.
________________________________________

Complaint Standard Procedure

In addition to the strict quality control measures that are applied to guarantee such a target, complaint of customers are on top of its priority list. It is believed that any complaint of any source is of vital importance and should therefore never be neglected. Complaints should be handled carefully and immediately according to written procedures :-
• • Quality Control Dept. & Certification Body immediate notification. Update the Complaint Register form .
• • Client notification that:- his complaint has been received complaint analysis is in process he will be informed by any reached conclusions immediately .
• • Collecting and reviewing of all data / documents & records of the entire LOT under investigation to make sure that all procedures and applications are applied and followed correctly (e.g. harvesting, processing & shipping documents).
• • Identification of raw material suppliers to block their activities until complaint clearance. In case of pesticide contamination complaint, reference samples should be analyzed at an accredited lab. Visual inspection should be carried out in case of other complaint (rot, insect infection,…etc.). Field samples may be taken if necessary.
• • Gathering any other feed-backs about the same LOT from other buyers is helpful.
• • Conclude the complaint reality and reasons.
• • Take all needed corrective actions to clear the complaint and insure its Execute product recall if necessary.

.Internal Audit Standard Procedures

Spice Power hires special importance to the quality and the sustainability of its products. In order to do so, a Quality Control system as well as Internal Audit system is being applied.
An annual internal audit should be carried out by EAC (consultant) and quality control Dept. covers the following sections:-
.• • Quality Manual & Standard Procedures. OPHSP (Firm / Farms) Approved Supplier's List .
• • Reviewing all records and book keeping system and make any needed modification or update.
• • Approved Off Farm Input List.
• • Last year analysis results and planning for the new year analysis activities (plant, soil, compost, water, products).
• • Customers Feed-Back.
• • Product Specification Sheet.
• • Tracking one or more lot to detect the effectiveness of the traceability and recall system.
• • Keep records for at least 5 years.
• • Implement any other necessary update if needed.
• • A final annual internal audit report should be found, hired to the top management for approval, and submitted to the certification body within the NOP renewal.
• • These annual internal audit results also will be used as a development tool for our company and its recommendation will be used for further planning guidance.
________________________________________

Internal Audit Standard Procedures

Nile Herbal hires special importance to the quality and the sustainability of its products. In order to do so, a Quality Control system as well as Internal Audit system is being applied.
An annual internal audit should be carried out by EAC (consultant) and quality control Dept. covers the following sections:-
• • Quality Manual & Standard Procedures. OPHSP (Firm / Farms) Approved Supplier's List .
• • - Reviewing all records and book keeping system and make any needed modification or update.
• • Approved Off Farm Input List.
• • Last year analysis results and planning for the new year analysis activities (plant, soil, compost, water, products).
• • Customers Feed-Back .
• • Product Specification Sheet.
• • Tracking one or more lot to detect the effectiveness of the traceability and recall system.
• • Keep records for at least 5 years.
• • Implement any other necessary update if needed.
• • A final annual internal audit report should be found, hired to the top management for approval, and submitted to the certification body within the NOP renewal.
• • These annual internal audit results also will be used as a development tool for our company and its recommendation will be used for further planning guidance..