Maintaining and enhancing food safety standards is an ongoing commitment that requires continuous improvement. At ingredient brothers, we understand the importance of maintaining high standards and have developed a plan to ensure that we continue to meet and exceed food safety regulations. Achieving the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Global Standards for Agents and Brokers certification dovetails with our overall mission.
However, BRC compliance isn’t a once-off-deal. To maintain our AA rating, we’re rolling out BRC best practice procedures that will constantly improve our standards over time. These include yearly management reviews, staying updated with the latest regulations, conducting internal audits, reviewing documents, cascading schedules, and organizing global training initiatives annually. Ultimately, end customers benefit most from an agent and broker’s BRCGS compliance. Read on as we explore the reasons why.
What is a BRC certificate?
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is a trade association for UK retail businesses and a leading provider of global supply chain assurance program programs. BRC certification ensures that a company provides safe products and follows specific procedures and guidelines that are recognized globally. In the UK, US, and Europe, many retailers only partner with suppliers who have undergone audits and gained accreditation from BRC certification bodies. Fun fact: The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety was the first to meet the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmark.
How to get a BRC certificate: (It’s as rigorous and exciting as earning a Michelin Star)
BRC offers a range of certification programs, including the BRC Food Safety Global Standard, which has been adopted by over 22,000 sites in more than 130 countries. Since ingredient brothers is only a tiny handful of wholesale ingredient suppliers worldwide to receive BRC certification, and since we were forced to stretch teamwork muscles we didn’t know we had (just like any professional kitchen) – achieving certification feels like winning a Michelin Star.
Raising the bar
The Michelin Star and BRC certifications recognize companies that uphold exacting food safety, quality, and environmental management criteria. Near perfection is expected at every point of their ecosystems, from sourcing ethical, high-quality ingredients to prioritizing health and safety.
Commitment from all levels of the organization
To win a Michelin Star, chefs, front-of-house staff, and support staff must work together to create a dining experience. There’s no room for weak links. Everyone must buy into the restaurant’s mission to meet Michelin’s stratospheric standards. Similarly, without the desire of our teams and suppliers worldwide to elevate our standards as a collective, meeting BRC’s highest standards would be impossible.
Michelin Stars and BRCGS certifications are trusted and widely recognized as the highest quality standards within their respective industries and by customers worldwide.
- 70% of the top 10 global retailers accept or specify BRC
- 50% of the top 25 global manufacturers specify or are certified by BRC
- 60% of the top 10 global Quick Service Restaurants accept or specify BRC
Why is working with a BRC-certified company good for your customers?
A BRC certificate reassures your customers about the safety and quality of our products. It demonstrates our commitment to maintaining the highest food safety and quality standards, giving customers confidence in our products.
BRC requirements protect your brand by ensuring bulk ingredient suppliers like ingredient brothers uphold standards that safeguard the integrity of your products and minimize the likelihood of recalls, complaints, and rejected items. Wholesale suppliers that stick to these stringent guidelines can provide products that meet the exacting standards of customers and regulatory bodies alike.
BRC certification involves undergoing third-party audits performed by accredited certification bodies. These audits assess a company’s compliance with the BRC standards and objectively evaluate its processes and practices. BRC third-party audits help validate a company’s commitment to regulatory compliance and provide assurance to stakeholders.
Why is working with a BRC-certified company good for stakeholders?
BRC certification is fully approved by the Global Food Standard Initiative (GFSI). It’s a framework that lets us be more efficient, reducing the need for multiple audits and helping us to improve our processes and save time and resources. Savings we pass on to our stakeholders when they buy wholesale ingredients.
Earning our certification means constantly monitoring risks tied to food safety and quality issues, minimizing the chances of product recalls, customer grievances, and rejected items.
Just like perfection, BRC is a journey, not a destination
Both Michelin stars and BRC certifications require organizations to demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement in their practices. It’s why constant monitoring and improvement are baked into our practices as a supplier and importer of bulk wholesale ingredients.
Annual management review
Ingredient brothers will conduct an annual management review to assess our food safety performance and identify areas for improvement. Our senior management team will lead this review and involve input from all levels of the organization.
We will stay up-to-date with the latest regulations by subscribing to industry publications, attending workshops and seminars, and networking with other food businesses. We will also review the latest regulations regularly and make any necessary changes to our food safety management system.
We will conduct internal audits at least once a year to assess compliance with our food safety procedures and the BRC standards. These audits will be conducted by a team of independent auditors who will report their findings to our senior management team.
Annual review of documents
We will review our food safety documentation annually to ensure it is up-to-date and accurate. This documentation includes our food safety policy, procedures, and records for every last ingredient in our extensive catalog of ingredients.
Training and cascading schedules
We will provide training on food safety to all employees regularly. This training will be tailored to each employee’s specific roles and responsibilities. We will also have a cascading training program so employees can share their knowledge with their colleagues.
Elevating trust, transparency, traceability, and compliance
Food safety, quality, and continuous improvement are ways to grow our business (and yours). BRC certification provides a panoramic view across our supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to final product delivery. This end-to-end visibility assures our customers and stakeholders that quality and safety are baked in at every link of this chain to relieve supply managers’ headaches.
If BRC compliance is what you seek from a supplier and importer of top ingredients, contact us! We would love to hear from you. Tap into their experience managing regulation requirements for top US food and beverage brands for any compliance-related questions.