Quality employee at St. Paul: my experience!

My name is Maaike, and I work as a quality employee at St. Paul, where my journey began out of the need for a job closer to home. My personal affinity with quality brought me here, and I saw an exciting challenge in the world of cheese, which offers much more diversity than what you typically find in stores.

In my role at St. Paul, everything revolves around ensuring quality. This involves checking raw materials and end products to ensure they meet both customer requirements and our own strict standards. It is essential that products that do not meet these standards do not reach the customer.

Why is quality so crucial to the success of our organization? Simply because we work with food products that people consume. Preventing illnesses in consumers and maintaining an impeccable reputation are of the utmost importance.

But how do we implement quality processes or make improvements? At St. Paul, we always strive for improvement. We constantly measure values, send samples to external laboratories, and compare results to refine our measuring equipment.

Regarding measuring instruments, we use various tools to assess quality, such as measurements of dry matter, fat content, and pH. A recent addition is daily swab measurements from the factory, which have led to cleaner production lines and improved manufacturing processes.

Collaboration with other teams is also crucial. We regularly hold meetings to discuss complaints and deviations. Additionally, we communicate quality guidelines through brief lessons and information sessions.

One of the biggest challenges in terms of quality is the constant drive for product improvement. This means that quality requirements are continually changing. We address this by introducing new measurement methods and constantly comparing results.

To foster a culture of continuous improvement, we focus on informing and training employees. This ensures that everyone understands why good quality is essential, reducing the number of mistakes.

With the strong growth of St. Paul, we are currently busy ensuring high quality for all new products. This is certainly a challenge with new machines and a changing factory, but we are on the right track.

One of my most memorable moments at St. Paul was the excellent A-score we achieved during the last BRC audit. It felt like recognition for the hard work, although we always strive for improvement.

The company culture at St. Paul clearly reflects a family business. The involvement of the Kuijl family is tangible; they are connected and regularly observe the processes. This contributes to a collegial and friendly atmosphere among all employees.

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