After years of evolution, one major driver of change in the US wholesaler industry is disintermediation. B2C marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba are cutting out intermediaries, such as wholesalers, brokers, or agents, to sell directly to B2B customers. In this evolving landscape, the survival of many US wholesalers depends on adapting to consumer demands for traceability and lowering the risk of food recalls.
This is where BRCGS certification for agents and brokers shines. Let’s delve into the five requirements of this food safety benchmark and why achieving them is no small feat.
What is the BRCGS certification?
BRCGS certification is an international food safety standard proving a company’s obsession with industry best practices in the food and beverage industry. Fun fact: BRC Global Standard for Agents and Brokers is the only GFSI-recognised standard designed for companies operating as agents or brokers in the food supply chain. (More on this later.)
What does BRC stand for?
The BRC (British Retail Consortium) is a trade association for UK retail businesses and a leading global supply chain assurance program provider. The organization based in London provides international standards on quality and safety across industries using protocols and guidelines. Those guidelines are crucial to preserving the health and safety of food supplies from consumers to brands and consumers alike.
Why is achieving the BRC Global Standard for food safety standard so hard?
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is the world’s most widely accepted certification, benchmarked against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards. But it isn’t the easiest to achieve. Ingredient Brothers is one of only 22 global wholesalers to comply with the BRCGS Agents and Brokers certification.
Why is BRCGS the gold standard of food safety certification?
- 70% of the top 10 global retailers accept or specify the BRC food safety standard
- 50% of the top 25 global manufacturers specify or are certified by the BRC food safety standard
- 60% of the top 10 global Quick Service Restaurants accept or specify the BRC food safety standard
What are the 5 requirements of BRCGS?
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety encompasses five requirements that food processors must uphold to attain certification. Compliance with these requirements helps ensure food products’ safety and quality throughout the supply chain.
1. Senior Management Commitment and Continual Improvement
Senior management must demonstrate their commitment to supplying authentic, legal, and safe products of specified quality by issuing policies and providing necessary resources. This commitment sets the tone for the organization’s commitment to critical control point management, product safety, and customer confidence.
2. Hazard and risk assessment
Businesses must conduct thorough hazard and risk assessments to identify potential hazards and risks associated with their products and processes. The emphasis here is on conducting a hazard and risk analysis by a competent food safety team. Potential hazards in each step are identified and risk assessed.
3. Product Safety and Quality Management System
To ensure compliance with BRCGS standards, agents and brokers must implement a Product Safety and Quality Management System (PSQMS) that includes several programs, such as document control, records completion, customer focus and communication, internal audit, specification for products, traceability, complaint handling, corrective and preventive action, control of the non-conforming product, management of incidents, product withdrawal and product recall.
Overall, implementing a PSQMS that includes these programs is essential for agents and brokers in the food industry to ensure compliance with BRCGS standards and maintain their products’ safety and quality.
All full-time, part-time, or temporary staff will undergo training and competency review. Training is important for a successful product safety and quality management system.
5. Supplier and subcontracted service management
A robust and comprehensive system for supplier and subcontracted service management is a cornerstone of maintaining the highest quality and safety standards in the food industry.
This multifaceted process involves rigorous evaluation and continual monitoring to guarantee that incoming components and services meet and consistently uphold the stringent global standards for producing safe, high-quality food products.
BRCGS certification is crucial for US wholesalers of ingredients that want to improve their supply chain management, reduce costs, and increase market access. It’s also a helpful resource, allowing top retailers to reduce the risk of product recalls and maintain customer confidence in the safety and quality of their traded products. Questions? Connect with us!
In need of a new ingredient? Our extensive catalog offers a wide array of quality ingredients that are not only BRC-certified for safety but also chosen with great care to meet the highest standards of excellence.
What is the BRC certification?
The BRC (British Retail Consortium) is a trade association for UK retail businesses and a leading global supply chain assurance program provider. BRC certification is an international food safety standard proving a company’s obsession with industry best practices in the food and beverage industry. Fun fact: The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety was the first to meet the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), established in response to several high-profile outbreaks and recalls that rocked the food industry.
What does the BRC standard stand for?
BRC stands for British Retail Consortium. The organization based in London provides international standards on quality and safety across industries using protocols and guidelines. Those guidelines are crucial to preserving the health and safety of food supplies from consumers to brands and consumers alike.
Is BRCGS the same as BRC?
BRC and BRCGS are related but not the same. BRC stands for British Retail Consortium, a trade association for UK retail businesses working to make a positive difference in the retail industry. On the other hand, BRCGS stands for Brand Reputation through Compliance Global Standard. BRCGS is a globally recognized certification program that sets the benchmark for good manufacturing practices in the food industry.
What are the benefits of BRCGS certification?
- Increased food safety: BRCGS certification helps businesses improve their food safety practices and reduce the risk of foodborne illness
- Enhanced customer confidence: BRCGS certification can help businesses build customer confidence and loyalty by demonstrating their commitment to food safety
- Improved market access: BRCGS certification is recognized by many retailers and food service companies, which can help businesses gain access to new markets and sell their products to more customers
- Reduced costs: BRCGS certification can help businesses reduce costs by preventing food recalls and other food safety incidents
- Improved compliance with regulations: BRCGS certification is aligned with international food safety regulations, which can help businesses comply with the requirements of regulators and avoid fines or penalties
What are the requirements for BRCGS certification?
- Having a documented food safety management system (FSMS) in place
- Implementing HACCP principles
- Conducting regular food safety audits
- Maintaining accurate records
- Training employees on food safety
What’s the difference between BRCGS and FSMA?
FSMA and BRCGS are essential food safety regulations but differ in scope, approach, enforcement, requirements, and auditing. While FSMA is a US law that applies to all food products sold in the US, BRCGS is a global standard for food manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. BRCGS certification can complement the requirements of FSMA and provide additional benefits, such as access to international markets, enhanced brand reputation, improved safety, compliance with distributor requirements, and reduced risk of recalls.