One of India’s rising stars is food manufacturer iD Fresh Food. While starting in 2005 from a 50 square feet kitchen, iD Fresh Food grew up to the company it is right now with five factories in India and UAE. iD’s mantra is “Keep it natural and keep it clean.” Food safety and FSSC 22000 certification is a fundamental element in iD’s growth strategy. How this mantra is embedded in their organization’s culture, and strategy will be explained by PC Musthafa, founder of iD Fresh Food.
- About iD Fresh Food
iD Fresh Food is one of India’s leading fresh food brands. The company produces and delivers a wide range of 100% natural, ready-to-cook, authentic Indian foods. The unique selling point of iD Fresh Food is its home-made style of preparation, without the use of any chemicals, preservatives, synthetic stabilizers, artificial colors, or flavors. Currently, iD operates in 45+ cities across India, the US, and UAE.
iD’s story started back in 2005 with PC Musthafa and his four cousins – Abdul Nasser, Shamsudeen TK, Jaffer TK, and Naushad TA. Having witnessed the dismal hygiene standards of the idly and dosa batter sold in plastic covers fastened by rubber bands in the neighborhood stores, they decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge.
- Trust is an important element in the way iD operates. Could you explain more about the role of consumer trust within your organization?
Positioning iD as a professional assistant in the kitchen, our mission is to ensure that the preparation of traditional Indian meals at home is a pleasure. Given that there’s such a strong emotional factor associated with food, our innovations are aligned with the emotional quotient and lifestyles of our consumers. The traditions of food and cooking run very deep in Indian households. To venture into that personal space, we have made concerted efforts to adopt complete product transparency. Consumer trust is paramount.
One of our biggest learnings, over the years, has been that trust will help us not just survive but thrive. During the current pandemic, we started an innovative business initiative that works solely on trust. In covid-19 hotspots, it facilitates customers with available iD products, without any security hassles and pressure of making payments right away! Because there is nothing more profitable than selling goodness.
- How are trust and food safety embedded within your organization?
As a brand that deeply values customer trust, we have always aspired to adhere to the highest safety standards in the global food industry. Consumers today not only want convenience but also demand more nutrition, freshness, and safety in their food choices.
We, at iD, take pride in making our food, not in laboratories but in kitchens that follow the best-in-class manufacturing processes while using state-of-the-art equipment. Back in 2007, when we had set-up our first manufacturing factory in Hoskote, Bengalore, we had imported custom-made heavy-duty wet grinding machines from Germany. Despite the paucity of funds, investments were made to ensure that the premises are ultra-clean and employees have adequate protective gear and sanitizing facilities at the factory.
As the business began to scale, though, there was a growing need to keep up with the challenges of volume and deliveries to new geographies. That’s when we decided to apply for the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 for our manufacturing plants in Mumbai, Hyderabad & Ajman. And in today’s pandemic world, where safety takes center stage, compliance alone won’t suffice. The need of the hour is to adopt the best business practices to pave the way for a healthier post-pandemic world.
“Keep it natural, keep it clean.”
Keep it natural and keep it clean – that has been our mantra at iD from day one. The customers are promised the same hygiene and care in the making of our products as they are at our own kitchens at home.
- Could you explain us more about the choice for FSSC 22000 and the benefits you have noticed and experienced so far?
Over the last few years, we have been keen to have our food safety management system audited and certified by a competent authority that is trusted globally. As an internationally-accepted certification scheme based on a combination of ISO 22000 sector-specific PRP and FSSC 22000 additional requirements, FSSC 22000 was an indisputable choice. The FSSC 22000 certification provides businesses like iD a stable foundation to venture into newer global markets while reinforcing the commitment to deliver products that consistently meet customer requirements of safe and healthy foods.
While iD adheres to country-specific certifications, the FSSC 22000 certification ensures that the company is operating on a globally benchmarked food safety standard that requires formal food safety programs to be in place and maintained. Along with establishing an effective system for food safety management, the certification reduces critical risks related to food safety. And that’s invaluable, especially in the current global scenario.
“Certification helps us strengthen consumer trust in an increasingly trust-deficient world.”
The certification will empower us in our endeavor to cater to the ever-evolving needs of customers worldwide. It will also help strengthen customer trust in an increasingly trust-deficient world. Perhaps, in setting industry benchmarks for food safety in India, it will also inspire other businesses to follow suit.
- To conclude this article, could you share any lessons learned?
The FSSC 22000 certification has been a valuable validation of our commitment to food safety. The comprehensive audit by the Foundation for Food Safety Certification over a period of last year was an incredible learning experience. It sparked noteworthy discussions among the 1600+ employees of the organization about key safety aspects. The process has definitely strengthened iD’s resolve to continue to provide healthy and safe foods to its customers.
In the near future, iD has plans to apply for the FSSC 22000 certification for its upcoming state-of-art plant in Bangalore.