In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC) developed and introduced the BRC technical standard and protocol for companies supplying retailer branded products, namely:
BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. This document is now on its fifth edition.
Three other BRC Standards have since been added
BRC/IOP* Global Standard for Packaging & Packaging Materials – Issue 3
BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution – Issue 1
BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products – Issue 2
* Institute of Packaging
The purpose of these four standards is to ensure that all retailer branded food items are manufactured, packaged and distributed according to a defined set of guidelines and procedures ensuring product safety and consumer confidence.
Compliance to the Global Standard for Packaging will establish conformity with management procedures and factory standards to be used by manufacturers of packaging and packaging materials whether sourced domestically or imported directly via distributors or third party agents.
Under EU regulation 178/2002, Food Storage and Distribution companies are now classed as Food businesses and as such have legal obligations to supply safe and legal products. The BRC standard for storage and distribution classifies such business into four distinct categories depending on the scope of the operation. Goods stored and distributed by such businesses are also subdivided into consumer products and food products.
Regardless of which end of the food/supply chain a company operates in, due diligence is one of the most essential elements of business continuity. Achieving BRC Certification against the relevant BRC standard not only allows companies to demonstrate due diligence, it also opens business opportunities with the most powerful sector in the supply chain, the retailer. The first step to achieving certification is to learn and understand the relevant standard.
Attendance at a BRC Global Standards training course will allow companies to benchmark their current Food Safety and Quality Management Systems against the specific requirements of the BRC standards and quantify the work required to pursue certification.