Entrepreneurs quickly see benefits of good manufacturing practices

Milk sign an Doinyo Lessos dairy in Kenya

Entrepreneurs quickly see benefits of good manufacturing practices

The royal blue walls of Doinyo Lessos Creameries, with the words “MILK” splashed in giant, white glistening letters rises up to meet visitors. In stark contrast to the muddy brown streaked walls of the neighborhood, the newly painted compound feels fresh, clean and orderly.

Doinyo Lessos Creameries is in Eldoret, Kenya, the heart of dairy country in the western Rift Valley. Billing itself as the ‘Kenya’s oldest creamery’, the company collects milk from local farmers to produce cheese, ice cream, yogurt and fresh/tinned milk and ghee. Inside, we find the co-owners, Rosemary and Brian Cuthbert, finishing up their morning meetings.

When Brian and Rosemary took over management in 2011, they knew they would need to standardize their practices in order to grow. In 2013, a local government contact introduced them to Partners in Food Solutions (PFS). Together, they focused on projects around strategic planning, improving their financial management systems and enhancing their quality assurance policies and processes.

At first, it was challenging to right-size the solutions. “Everyone we’ve worked with knows their stuff,” explained Bryan, “But there was a gap between what they wanted and what we could do.” In the end, they focused on breaking down issues into discreet steps that could be implemented as resources became available. Doinyo was already on their way to hiring a quality assurance manager, but the volunteer recommendations spurred them into action.  

After making sure each one of us donned a white lab coat, covered our hair and removed our jewelry, Esther Kerigo, the quality assurance manager, proudly showed us around processing facility. Standard operating procedures for health and hygiene were clearly posted; boot baths are installed outside each processing area and toilet facilities had just been upgraded. The storage warehouse, she admits, still needed a bit of help, but all staff had been trained in good manufacturing practices, so it was only a matter of time before it was tackled.

These investments have paid off. In 2015, an independent auditor found significant improvements in the hygiene status of the factory, moving from 48% (unsatisfactory) to 75% (pass). More importantly, the rejection rate of their products by grocery outlets dropped from 15% to less than 1%, tightening up their revenue stream. “What we did [with PFS] was a catalyst,” explains Bryan, “It affected our quality in a big way.”  

Watch a video profile of Doinyo Lessos HERE.

General Mills
General Mills, the founding member of Partners in Food Solutions, is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 150,000 people in 70 countries.
Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for producing foods and manufacturing advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a over 10,000 employees worldwide.
The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, PA, is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks.
Ardent Mills
Ardent Mills is dedicated to helping our customers innovate and grow, with the industry’s broadest range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products.