September 16, 2019

QUALITY ASSURANCE

QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

Quality Assurance Managers Association (QAMA) is the technical arm of UFPEA. Its membership is made up of Quality Assurance Managers of the fish factories that are members of UFPEA. While the policy making arm of UFPEA consisting of the Managing Directors of respective establishments handle the administrative and financial issues they have mandated QAMA to coordinate and handle all technical matters concerning all their factories.

QAMA meets regularly to discuss issues concerning quality assurance concerns. 

QAMA derives its mandate from UFPEA and therefore carries its activities to promote and support the achieving of UFPEA vision, mission and objectives.

In the late 1990s the fish industry was faced with a lot of quality challenges that culminated in a fish export ban of all fish products from Uganda to the European Union. The lifting of the subsequent bans came with stringent demands and conditions on the country and more so individual processing plants. Since the demands and conditions were general for all fish factories, UFPEA saw it wise to make a common front and this led to the formation of QAMA the technical arm. The efforts of QAMA working with the relevant stakeholders in the fisheries sub sector have yielded great dividends as seen in the previous successful EU inspections not to mention a steady and compliant fish export trade. Uganda is now recognized by the EU commission as a fully harmonized country and accorded No. 1 list status of exporting countries. Individual QAMA members serve as the quality contact persons for their companies and their respective international clients.

QAMA membership consists a team of highly qualified and experience professionals experts in the field of Food/Fisheries science and technology with several post graduate certificates, diplomas and research work in different fields of Fish quality assurance , inspection and system audits. We hold general meetings once every two months to review issues, compare notes and handle upcoming matters for strategic planning.

It is against this background that the QAMA members not only share technical issues affecting their respective factories but have also been a strong link with the Directorate of Fisheries Resources (Competent Authority) on technical matters affecting the Fish industry in general.

QAMA has always participated in the formulation of fish quality related documents at all stages their input is highly respected.

QAMA works in partnership with the Competent Authority which is the Directorate of Fisheries Resources to address any quality challenges and alerts whether local or international with the purpose of not only sorting them up but also putting out measures to curtail future reoccurrence. QAMA also works in partnership with the National Standards body -Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) in the formulation and implementation of national standards that relate to the fisheries sector. This includes formulation of new standards as the market may demand.

QAMA is also involved in working together with the suppliers of both raw material fish ,packaging material and chemicals with a purpose of having the adhere to the stringent required standards expected of them.

QAMA serves as a technical link for absorbing any technical support or assistance extended to the fish factories in all fields of food safety from development partners, NGOs and well-wishers. Members and sometimes accompanied some selected staff always attend workshops. Seminars and training /refresher courses organized by UFPEA or its development partners. These come as need arises or at the prompting of QAMA.

QAMA is taking a leading role and participating in the ongoing partner funded projects and these include;

  • Quality management system training and subsequent certification (PSFU-SDF)
  • Skills development training PSFU-SDF0
  • Resource sustainability through self-monitoring (GIZ-UFPEA)
  • BRC quality management system-Implementation and auditing (Commonwealth Standards Agency-UNBS-DFR)
  • ISO 9000-2000 Training (UNBS)

Through the efforts of QAMA and its members most of their processing establishment have successfully been certified and accredited by international certification bodies. (BRC, IFS, ISO, Halal HACCP).

QAMA is also involved in UFPEA funded internal project like;

  • Inspection of all fish landing facilities for on spot checks of compliance.
  • Visit of facilities of suppliers of chemicals and packaging materials.
  • Visit to inspect the handling facilities at the airport and other exit points

The report of the findings and recommendations are always directed to the relevant authorities through the CEO UFPEA for action and QAMA participates in round table talks to pave way forward.

The annual elective QAMA leadership consists of: Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary, 2 Committee members and a treasurer. This leadership is changed every after one year to give the members the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills. The QAMA Chairman is an automatic member of the UPFEA executive board where he represents QAMA views, interests and updates managing directors on technical matters of the industry. He also brings back executive polices and decisions for implementation.

QAMA LEADERSHIP

Chairman

Tenywa Moses

Vice Chairman

Mukasa John

Secretary

Mwandha Rogers

Treasurer

Chandran Singh

Committee Member

Lugolobo Badru

Committee Member

Tibyasa William

In QAMA, we believe in technical collectivism, unity and knowledge sharing. This concept has helped QAMA and industry at large continually comply with the stringent export market regulatory requirements, ensure and guarantee food safety and overcome technical challenges which are the most important aspect of value addition in the fishery value chain.

The fact that our fish export market especially the EU perceives and considers individual factory quality and food safety problems as national problems affecting the entire industry, informs QAMA of the need to unit and work together.

The efforts of QAMA and its members have led to individual companies receiving awards and recognition from government,

  • Lake Bounty- GOLDEN-AWARD WNNER for outstanding export performance in the fish and fishery products category-2018.
  • AQUA PERCH- Presidential Export award- Regional exporter of the year, Western Region -2018.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”.