The National Milling Company – Certified for quality and standards

A Guyanese company manufacturing flour for fifty-five (55) years, the National Milling Company (NAMILCO) has become a household name. Starting with just forty-five (45) workers in May 1969 under its parent company Seaboard Corporation, the company now provides employment for one hundred and forty-five (145) people and has successfully been certified to meet quality requirements and international standards.

Flour is a staple in the Guyanese diet and NAMILCO owns the only flour mill in Guyana with a capacity to produce 9.8 tonnes per hour/235 tonnes per day. Using wheat imported from the United States of America, Canada and other countries, the company currently manufactures eighteen (18) different products under the popular brands Thunderbolt and Maid Marian. The company also manufactures Whole Wheat Mix and Harvest High Fiber Wholewheat.

NAMILCO’s Marketing Supervisor Alicia Anderson and Finance Controller Fitzroy Mcleod

To demonstrate that its products are being made under strict hygienic and other suitable conditions, the company pursued certification to the International Standard ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems and more recently, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards’ (GNBS) Made in Guyana Certification Mark Programme.

On May 01, 2009, the company was certified under the 9001 Standard which according to Marketing Supervisor, Alicia Anderson, helped NAMILCO with the promotion of its brand names both in Guyana and abroad. The certification she added, “helped with giving assurance to consumers that our products are quality assured following the requirements of the internationally recognized quality standard.”

Thunderbolt flour manufactured by NAMILCO branded ‘Made in Guyana’

Fast forward to June 15, 2022, the company was certified to use the GNBS approved Made in Guyana Certification Mark on all of its products. Ms. Anderson commended the GNBS team noting that the process was “smooth and hassle free.”

Despite the flour mill being in operation for fifty-five (55) years, she noted that the GNBS programme contributed to heightened brand recognition with many persons visibly impressed with the number of products made by the Guyanese company.

“Many have been impressed with our offerings and take pride in seeing a Guyanese company performing at internationally competitive levels. This translates into loyalty and other marketing and promotional benefits,” the Marketing Supervisor said.

Maid Marian Flour manufactured by NAMILCO branded ‘Made in Guyana’

The Made in Guyana Certification Mark Programme aims to provide recognition to locally manufactured products on the local and international markets and is a signature of quality for authentic Guyanese Products. To become certified, companies must meet stringent quality and other requirements. The certification is valid for one year after which businesses can pursue renewal.

Shortly, NAMILCO will be adding its Thunderbolt Unbleached All-Purpose flour and Maid Marian 00′ Pizza Flour to the scope of certification.

The NAMILCO team encourages other companies to join the GNBS Certification programme to show their commitment to high standards and quality.

Finance Controller, Fitzroy Mcleod noted that “the external validation of your processes and quality is good.” He added that the increased responses from the public on social media and at local and international expos have been encouraging.

Made in Guyana certified products manufactured by NAMILCO

In addition to its local consumers, the NAMILCO’s largest export markets are Suriname, USA and Canada and the company is keen on meeting its customers’ needs. Emphasizing that consumers are the purpose of the company’s operations, the Marketing Supervisor and Finance Controller both outlined that the importance of good customer service cannot be overstated.

As consumer protection bodies joined in observing World Consumer Rights Day in March, Mr. Mcleod assured that “consumers are the reason why [NAMILCO is] in business and to the extent that we satisfy them, that’s a great success factor. So, it is a primary goal to work closely with the consumer to satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations.”

Over the years, NAMILCO has re-tooled its flour mill installing state of the art Buhler packaging machines, scales, roller mills and storage silos. These upgrades are aimed at producing a consistent quality product and becoming a significant milling operation in the region.