As the largest growing beverage worldwide, bottled water manufacturers are rapidly growing in numbers. But as a packaged food product like any other, bottled water is also in constant need of safety controls to ensure superior quality for its consumers.
As a way of ensuring that the highest bottled water standards are met by the individual manufacturers, the Australasian Bottled Water Institute (ABWI) has developed a mandatory quality assurance and good manufacturing practice program for its members called the Model Code.
Based on the International Council of Bottled Water Associations' Model Code, the testing regime and quality controls set for bottled water manufacturers go beyond the regulatory standards of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).
The Model Code provides a strict set of rules for the safe processing of bottled water, and ABWI subjects bottled water manufacturers to annual plant audits, administered by independent third-party technical organisations.
Only bottled waters that comply and commit with this model code are able to become certified members of the institute. "We undertake rigorous quality controls in order to ensure that only the highest quality of bottled water is produced by our members," says Mr Tony Gentile, executive director of ABWI.
All bottled water manufacturers who pass the ABWI audits and comply with the model code are entitled to display the ABWI 'Certified Bottler' logo on their labels.
Therefore, through the use of ABWI logos, national water bottlers can ensure that consumers know that they are purchasing products bottled by manufacturers that have attained and also maintain the highest levels of safety and quality.
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