What is BRC?
BRC stands for ‘British Retail Consortium’. BRC is an independent consulting firm with twelve years experience of global data networks, mobile telecommunications and business analysis. BRC has made a design with requirements and guidelines for customer food producers to follow so they have a food safety system that is qualified enough for the retailers to deliver products to the biggest English supermarket chains. These guidelines and requirements go further than the standards of a HACCP-plan. It has been broadened by GMP-rules.
British Retail Consortium’s Global-Food Standard is the official name. This standard is GFSI recognized.
At this moment all kinds of food systems for human consumption can be certified with this BRC standard. It has several steps which a company must follow to work following the BRC System Requirements. Steps in the BRC manual are:
General information – Product, process
HACCP system – Hazard analysis, CCP and work instructions
Quality Management System – Policy, organization structure, Documental control,
procedures, tracebility, product re-call, etc.
Company Environment Standards – Location, grounds, lay-out flows, maintenance,
staff facilities, waste disposal, pest control, etc.
Product Control – Product design, packaging, stock rotation, product
Process Control – Quantity control, equipment and process
validation, specific handling requirements, etc.
Personnel – Personal hygiene, medical screening, protective
clothing, training, etc.
For further information on BRC you can consult http://certification.controlunion.com or www.BRC.co.uk. On these websites you will find the official BRC documents, as well as applicable Control Union Certifications documents. If you want to get an idea to what extent your current food system meets the BRC requirements, you can evaluate your system with a BRC self assessment checklist.
Why has BRC been developed?
The reason why BRC Global Standard-Food has been developed is that there has been an increase in consumer awareness concerning the production circumstances in the food industry. Besides that the biggest British retailers demanded from their food product deliverers a better and global view on the circumstances and process of their production process in the company.
With BRC consumers can be sure that every step of the food production complies with international and national quality standards and regulations regarding safe production of their food.
What are the advantages for you in holding a BRC certificate?
As most leading retailers in Great Britain demand a BRC fulfilment as a minimum production safety standard for consumer food producers, the certificate can give your company a market access to Great Britain’s biggest supermarket chains. The certification can contribute to your marketing position by meeting the “due diligence principle”. And in terms of long development / marketing missions it can reduce cost of production due to continuous improvement of your Food Safety System.