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"Striving for excellence in the distribution of controlled temperature,
perishable products in Southern Africa"

Consumers locally and internationally are demanding perishable foodstuffs, which are affordable, safe and healthy to eat. Nature provides an abundant supply of quality, safe to eat food in the form of fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables, milk, shellfish, meat, etc. All these temperature sensitive perishables need to travel along a cold chain from their source to the consumer to maintain their quality, freshness, nutritional value and to remain safe to eat.

The many links in the cold chain can include a fishing trawler, dairy, abattoir processing plant, pack house, refrigerated vehicle, cold store, refrigerated container, distribution centre, supermarket, vending cabinet and domestic refrigerator.



The cold chain is never made of only one party but usually many. Each link in the cold chain needs to receive the product at the correct temperature, then maintain it at that temperature and pass it to the next link at the same temperature.

The cold chain can only be effective if all links play their role and co-operate with the links joining their own.

 The idea of an association to create closer cooperation between all parties in the cold chain distribution of perishables in Southern Africa was given birth at a one-day meeting held in The President Hotel, Cape Town on 8th February 1990. From this followed the founding of the Southern African Refrigerated Distribution Association (SARDA) on 5th June 1990 at the association's first National AGM held at the Jan Smuts Holiday Inn, Johannesburg.


SARDA is structured on having equal participation of all sectors in the cold chain industry including suppliers of equipment and services used by those companies that form a link ie. fish processors, farmers, abattoirs, dairies, supermarkets, distributors, cold stores, municipal markets, food processors, caterers, restaurants etc.

SARDA aims to:

 Create a communication forum for all cold chain role players to address matters of common interest and to keep abreast of latest technological development.
Promote and  uphold quality standards in the cold chain industry.
Act as the mouthpiece of the industry on legislative matters.
Provide recognition for those role players committed to upholding quality standards in the cold chain industry in South Africa.
Promote a better co-operation between all role players in the cold chain with the benefits of reducing losses of perishables to a minimum and to provide the consumer with quality products, which are safe to eat.



 SARDA members undertake:   

·         To distribute temperature controlled perishable products in accordance with the SARDA code of practice and all current legal requirements within the countries of Southern Africa.

·         To use only cold stores, vehicles and equipment capable of maintaining product temperatures within the recommended requirements.

·         To train and educate employees in the correct procedures needed for implementing the cold chain effectively.





 SARDA published a code of practice in 1993, titled :" Implementing the Cold Chain in the Distribution of Perishable Products". The Code provides valuable guide­lines, information and recommended procedures for proper temperature management and control. Farmers, food processors, cold stores, food distributors, merchandisers, supermarkets, transporters and even the consumer will find useful information in the Code, which is issued freely for all members and sold to others.  















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