BSI auditor receives global Special Recognition of Services award

On October 2, the International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI) honoured one of BSI’s leading food auditors, Clare Winkel, with an Award for Special Recognition of Services to the Seafood Industry.

The Award was one of four presented at the IAFI’s bi-annual meeting, and is based on nominations received by the board from industry.

Clare’s outstanding work in raising standards for the seafood industry was recognised in nominations from the Sydney Fish Market and Marine Institute, Newfoundland, and was supported by the Canadian Fishing Company, Seafood Products Association (USA), the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre, Humber Seafood Institute (UK), NOAA Seafood Inspection Program (USA) and the Centre for Aquaculture & Seafood Development.

“These letters (of support) were extremely effusive and complimentary about the work Clare had done over the years as an auditor and trainer,” says Chris Leftwich, President of IAFI and Head of the Fishmongers Guild of the City of London. “They commented upon the high standard of work, professionalism and enthusiasm that Clare brings to everything she does.”

Clare began her career as a Training Officer with AUSMEAT, and moved into food safety programs with NCSI in 2004.  She has conducted food safety audits in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, UK and Holland, and in 2010 was instrumental in the Seafood CRC project for the Development of the Australian Seafood Manufacturing Scheme within the Retail Transformation Project.

“One of my favourite experiences, personally, is auditing in Alaska for the last four years,” she says. “Also, designing and delivering practical training courses for the indigenous seafood processors in the Torres Strait – we received the 2003 Premiers Award for Public Sector Management-Partnerships and Reconciliation for that project.”

Clare frequently gives presentations on food safety, auditing and international matters, which Kate Abraham of the Canadian Fishing Company describes as “sensible, down to earth and practical.”

“She has the ability to encapsulate different regulations, cultures and production methods into basic food safety practice,” explained Kate in her letter of support for the award. “She not only appreciates and collects examples of best practice, but is always willing to share them, becoming a driving force in raising standards and helping companies achieve GFSI certifications.”

Clare has been based in Portland Oregon since 2013, working between the USA and Australia as an International Verification Auditor for BSI incorporating NCS International since 2009.  She says she was completely surprised by the award, describing herself as a “stunned mullet” on the night. The award, a humpback whale sculpture, is now sitting on a shelf at home next to her salmon snow globe.