When people think about a pigsty, they most probably think about dirt, disorder, and an unpleasant smell. In fact, when you Google the meaning of the word ‘pigsty’, it is also described as “a very dirty or untidy house or room“. Not so at all at Merino Grower Farm of Topigs Norsvin SA, near Villiers in the Free State province of South Africa. They started with the 20 Keys system some time ago, and recently achieved the Key 1 Level 3.5 certification – a first for pig farming in South Africa!
The farm, with eight weaner and 12 grower houses implements:
- Key 1 (Cleaning and Organising),
- Key 2 (Goal Alignment),
- Key 3 (Small Group Activities),
- Key 9 (Maintaining Machines and Equipment),
- Key 10 (Workplace Discipline), and
- Key 11 (Quality Assurance).
The farm has a very lean workforce of only five people, including the Farm Manager and a General Cleaner. Other Keys are also progressing well, and basically, all maintenance is done on site (first-line maintenance and other Key 9 principles are implemented well).
Topigs Norsvin SA maintains, at all their farms, world class and industry leading levels of bio-security and food safety, as also attested by visits from representatives from overseas pig farming operations. The implementation of Key 1 is in support of this, as well as
- workplace organisation for efficient and safe working,
- quick information retrieval, and
- cost savings.
I was very surprised by the level achieved in a relatively short period of time.
Stefan, Farm Manager, and his small team are very serious about their operation, and the welfare and quality of the animals. It is not often that a level of 3.5 is achieved as a first objective; well done to the farm team consisting of Stefan, Lazarus, Sandile, Jacob and Ndumiso, and also to Karien Vorster, Topigs 20 Keys Facilitator, for her support.
There is a challenge on the table now, for all other Topigs Norsvin SA farms to follow suit!
Author: Johan Benadie: Director at ODI
To read more about ODI’s Continuous Operational Improvement System, click here.