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Quality assurance of hatchery vaccination practices

When it comes to poultry production, quality systems are part of the whole value chain. The C.H.I.C.K program from Ceva, which guarantees a high quality level of hatchery vaccination procedures, is recognised for its quality by the Bureau Veritas Group.

To promote food trade and maintain consumers' trust in product quality and safety, quality management is of high importance for the agri-food industry. Safety and quality standards, assurance systems and a legislative framework built around the business concept “quality management”.

Photo: Ceva Sante Animale
Photo: Ceva Sante Animale

Quality systems within the hatchery

The development of management systems with focus on processes is not a new concept, having begun to receive attention in the 80s. Systems based on “good practices”, encompassing good agricultural, good hygienic, good manufacturing and good trade practice were developed. Since the 90s the international standard ISO 9000 has been popular in the agri-food industry. The reason for the development of the ISO 9000 was the publication of a consistent norm, which formulates a framework for quality management. In 1993, the EU officially recognised the HACCP methodology as a standard production method for food manufacturers to implement and maintain a production control system. Furthermore, quality systems have been developed with specific requirements for the agri-food-industry (Krieger, Gerhard Schiefer, 2016).

When it comes to poultry production, quality systems are part of the whole value chain. Knowing that the vaccination process in hatcheries plays a crucial part to get maximum potential for protection of flocks with impact on productivity, welfare and profitability, the integration of the vaccination process in hatcheries as parts of a quality programme is key for success.

The C.H.I.C.K. Program Code of Practice and Bureau Veritas

“Quality” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the ‘degree of excellence’ and a ‘distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something’. Poultry producers are constantly looking for ways to excel and to distinguish themselves from their competitors, by improving chick quality and robustness. To guarantee the high-quality level of the hatchery vaccination procedures, Ceva has developed the unprecedented C.H.I.C.K Program. In this way Ceva helps its customers to build and to maintain excellence.” says Wessel Swart, Ceva Vaccination, Services & Equipment Europe Zone Manager.

Parts of the C.H.I.C.K Program Quality Code of Practice for the standardisation of hatchery services all around the world.
Parts of the C.H.I.C.K Program Quality Code of Practice for the standardisation of hatchery services all around the world.

Since its launch, the C.H.I.C.K. Program Standard Operating Procedures and services has been implemented in hundreds of hatcheries around the world, guided by a dedicated team of specialised professionals. These teams are centrally supported and work in networks to ensure the same level of services from one country to another.

The C.H.I.C.K Program and its quality recognition by Bureau Veritas program is now part of the values of our teams of vaccination services specialists around the world. Photo: Ceva Sante Animale
The C.H.I.C.K Program and its quality recognition by Bureau Veritas program is now part of the values of our teams of vaccination services specialists around the world. Photo: Ceva Sante Animale

When respecting the basic rules for the handling, mixing and administration of vaccines by well trained personnel at hatcheries, these will be translated into more chickens well vaccinated that can get maximum potential for protection in the field. That is why, the respect of well described protocols in a unique “Quality Code of Practice for Hatchery vaccination” was essential to structure the services we bring to our customers. In this way, the C.H.I.C.K Program Quality Code of Practice is our reference guide for the standardisation of hatchery services all around the world. This guide is the result of more than 2 years collaboration with a specialised certification company, Bureau Veritas Group.

Quality stamp of approval

Compliance with the C.H.I.C.K Program Quality Code of Practice is now monitored by Bureau Veritas group in every Ceva affiliate candidate to the quality recognition all around the world. After one Ceva affiliate gets its “Attestation of Recognition” issued by Bureau Veritas, this quality stamp of approval will guarantee poultry producers that the quality services provided by Ceva teams are of the highest possible international standard. According to that, our commitments for customers are centred on 4 pillars:

  1. Qualified teams dedicated to monitoring vaccination quality
  2. Delivery of continuous training for customer operators
  3. Regular hatchery visits to contribute to continuous improvement of results
  4. Management of equipment with a preventive maintenance program

Worldwide implementation: C.H.I.C.K. Program

In November 2016, Ceva Head office achieved a notable first for the animal health industry as the good implementation of one its services programmes by Ceva teams, the C.H.I.C.K. Program, received internationally recognised quality approval from the international testing and certification company, Bureau Veritas Group. In about 3 years, about 38 countries representing 100% of the company's poultry services teams around the world have obtained this Recognition of Quality after successfully passing quality control audits in their offices and in the customer’s hatcheries.

From China to Argentina

Currently, 38 country teams in 5 continents are today Quality Recognized. The first country to obtain Quality Recognition was South Africa in 2016. In 2017, countries such as Spain, Turkey, the Philippines, Mexico, Russia, Poland and the United Kingdom joined the program after passing a successful audit in offices and customer hatcheries. The power of the Quality Code of Practice structuring our services and the proven benefits for hatcheries made that many more countries enrolled the programme. In that way, during 2018 and 2019 the following countries obtained their qualifications: In Asia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and China. In Europe, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Hungary and Ukraine . In Africa and Middle East, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Inter Tropical Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania). In Latin America: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, and in North America the United States. During the year 2020, Canada and India joined the programme completing the global quality recognition programme.

Key figures for Ceva’s C.H.I.C.K Program

During the year 2020, almost 1,300 hatcheries were audited by the C.H.I.C.K Program around the world. According to our internal studies, this represents around 60% of hatcheries in the world covered by Ceva teams. In those hatcheries, about 5,274 vaccination quality audits were done by our global teams of 175 specialists.

Quality assurance of hatchery vaccination practices

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The C.H.I.C.K Program and its quality recognition by Bureau Veritas program is now part of the values of our teams of vaccination services specialists around the world that have in average 4 years of holding this recognition.

New challenges and projects around this will be very soon available for our customers looking forward to excellence in productivity, welfare and profitability.

Find out more information about Bureau Veritas Group

Author: Paola Cruz-Dousdebes, DVM Corporate Vaccination Services Marketing Manager, Ceva Santé Animale.
Email:paola.cruz-dousdebes@ceva.com