What is BRC?
BRC (British Retail Consortium) is an international Food Safety Management Systems standard, and is one of the GFSI recognized certification schemes. It contains requirements for food processors to follow to build an effective food safety management system. There are also editions of the standard for food packaging manufacturers, storage and distribution and now agent and brokers.
The requirements of the standard address the key elements that must be in place for your organization to ensure production of safe product. BRC Certification is recognized by GFSI, an important consideration when choosing a certification scheme because many major manufacturers and retailers require a GFSI recognized certification. Other recognized certification schemes include FSSC 22000 and SQF.
Over 16,000 facilities worldwide are certified to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. To add your organization or facilities to this list you will need to build a management system that addresses all of the requirements of the standard.
- Food safety
- Consumer product
- Packaging materials
- Storage and distribution
Benefits of BRC Certification:
With a GFSI recognized food safety certification, your organization can access those parts of the market that are only available to those that are certified. More and more manufacturers and retailers are protecting their product safety and brand reputation by requiring suppliers to achieve and maintain one of these certifications.
Opportunities for certified companies are expanding, while those for companies that are not certified are decreasing. By achieving certification, you are also protecting your product, customers and brand. Once you have implemented and are following the system based on the requirements of the standard you choose, you will be following best practices for food safety management.
There are a number of benefits for manufacturers who are certified against the BRC Standard. A number of these benefits apply across other standards while some are specific to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, these are:
- The BRC standard has descriptive requirements for process and hygienic control which provide clear guidelines as to how food safety should be addressed;
- It has a simple certification process which only requires an on-site audit, there is no requirement for a desk study step;
- It includes a voluntary recertification audit, allowing an organization to demonstrate its high level of commitment as the certification body can be asked to re-audit the facilities at any time; and
- The standard has a focus on quality, as well as food safety and legality.
What does BRC Require?
The BRC Standard has requirements for:
- Management Commitment Prerequisite programs
- Food Safety and Quality Manual
- Document Control
- Internal Audits
- Supplier Approval
- Corrective Actions
- Control of Nonconforming Product
- Complaint Handling
- Management of Incidents
- Site Standards
- Product Design and Development
- Management of Allergens
- Provenance, Assured Status and Identity Preserved
- Materials Packaging
- Product Inspection and Testing
- Product Release
- Control of Operations
- Calibration and Control of Measuring and Monitoring Devices
- Personal Hygiene
- Medical Screening
- Protective Clothing