EHEDG Membership Value
EHEDG can play a pivotal role in these challenging times, because educating yourself and investing in hygienic engineering and design offers many opportunities to optimise food production. With its 600+ EHEDG Members, representing leading food processing companies, machine producers and academic institutes around the world, I feel that EHEDG has a special obligation, and capability, to support its members in the most practical ways. That is why I am convinced that EHEDG needs to continue to invest in developing its product offering to further increase the value of your EHEDG Membership.
We know why food processing companies prefer to invest in EHEDG certified components: they don’t want to worry about the cleanability of their food processing lines. We also know that there is a growing demand for certified systems and complete production lines. The EHEDG Testing Laboratories are currently very well equipped to physically test and certify components, but we need to expand our joint activities in this area quickly. The recently developed new testing method, that is applied in the testing of the external cleanability of open process equipment, is a small but good step in the right direction. The newly established GFSI benchmarking requirements will further force the industry to adapt to secure the primary goal of food safety management systems: food safety will always be our main priority, and that’s why we must make sure that every single EHEDG certification scheme is always firmly grounded in relevant EHEDG Guideline Documents.
EHEDG Guideline Development
With the need for more flexible, scalable, and productive food processes comes the need for more process oriented EHEDG Guidelines. That is why the expert volunteers of the EHEDG Working Groups started developing guidelines dedicated to specific food process categories. The first results can be downloaded from the EHEDG Website. EHEDG will continue to develop hygienic engineering and design guidelines that meet the evolving practical needs of the food industry.
EHEDG Guideline Documents contain the current expert consensus on hygienic design directives. Following the rapidly growing industry demands to optimise not only food safety and quality, but also productivity and sustainability, we will need to broaden the scope of the EHEDG Guideline Documents. This cannot be done overnight, as there are many EHEDG Guideline Documents in place, but future EHEDG Working Group requirements will have to reflect this transition.
EHEDG Training & Education
The pandemic reminded us that we need to rapidly expand our online training offer. Since online training doesn’t require participants to travel, and is therefore also more affordable for all concerned, it will allow even more food industry workers around the globe to increase the knowledge about hygienic engineering and design, and level up their performances within their own working environments.
The challenges that EHEDG faces are not only related to the technical education platform, but also to the certain limitations of online training and education. Being able to physically touch and components is an important benefit of real-life courses. That’s why we are investigating options to set up a hybrid training and education course environment that combines online training with a hands-on training experience.
EHEDG Certification, EHEDG Guidelines and EHEDG Training & Education have always been considered the major membership offerings of an EHEDG Membership. I would like to add that the invaluable EHEDG Networking should be considered as the fourth EHEDG Membership offering. More and more food and food equipment industry professionals and scientists have joined online EHEDG Working Group meetings and were able to connect with each other via our social media channels. Currently almost 9000 professionals can be contacted directly via our LinkedIn-page now (www.linkedin.com/company/ehedg).
Networking, connecting and sharing knowledge is all about engagement. EHEDG wants to offers its members more opportunities to connect, so we currently evaluate a communication platform that will help you to quickly find trustworthy answers to practical hygienic design related questions. Of course, this initiative can only be successful with your support and engagement. I therefore invite you to share your best industry practices with all of us, so that we can all learn from each other’s’ experiences. Just drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and our communication team will be happy to turn your experiences into stories that inspire others and that highlights your company as a leading member driving positive change and innovation.
EHEDG Hygienic Design Strategy
EHEDG unites experts from all areas and levels of the food industry and academia, and they all share a universal sense of obligation to further advance food safety, quality, productivity, and sustainability. EHEDG has been doing that for 30 years, but we are now living in times of extraordinary change. The new GFSI Hygienic Design Benchmarking Requirements (Document JI & JII) have the potential to result in new legislative enforcement that will drive companies on all levels of the food supply chain to adopt and apply hygienic design.
Simultaneously, tougher demands by food consumers and food industry investors will accelerate the need for sustainable processing, and hygienic design is a key element of being able to comply with those demands. I invite you to look into this EU document about Best Available Technologies for Pollution Prevention & Control (Sustainability), particularly page 119: https://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference/food-drink-and-milk-industries.
Let there be no doubt about it: the research results, gathered in real industry situations, proof that investing in hygienic design leads to major savings in cleaning time, water and chemical use and equally significant productivity gains. In other words: investing in hygienic engineering and design is the most effective investment strategy for sustainable success. At EHEDG, we will continue to support you along the way.
With best regards,
EHEDG President Ludvig Josefsberg