BRC certification: What is it and what are its benefits?
A certification is a voluntary process, implemented by the company in question but audited and controlled by a third party. Often, having a certification is a requirement to be able to sell in many markets, either for legal reasons or because the buyers of the products request it.
There are standards specifically geared towards the food industry in order to implement good practices, for example, food safety, occupational safety, environmental and quality standards. In the specific case of the BRC standard, it is a global standard aimed at food safety, created by the British Retail Consortium. Certification under this standard is recognized by a large number of retailers, food companies and producers worldwide and is used by them to evaluate the capabilities of their suppliers.
The BRC standard is a regulatory framework that helps producers to produce safe food and control product quality to meet customer requirements. It was created with a dual purpose; on one hand, it ensures supplier compliance, and, on the other hand, it is a tool that guarantees the quality and safety of the food that is marketed. BRC covers organizations dedicated to production, marketing, transport and storage of food products.
Companies that plan to obtain certification under this standard, in addition to acquiring a high degree of commitment from management and workers, must make the following structural modifications:
- Establish a Quality Management System
- Set objectives and set specific dates for their implementation and evaluation
- Identify legal requirements
- Identify and document specific food safety risks and relevant control measures (HACCP system)
- Apply Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygiene Practices
- Implement continuous improvement within their system
The BRC standard positively impacts certified companies in the following way:
- Ensures transparency throughout the entire supply chain
- Provides companies with evident proof of compliance with food safety issues
- Allows access to foreign markets
- Facilitates the control of the different stages during the production and sale of the products
- Reconciles food security and quality control
- Helps to comply with the legal requirements of the countries where the finished product is consumed
- Helps improve and measure the performance of food security
- Facilitates a reduction in product recalls
- Achieves efficient supply chain management by reducing audits and increasing their reliability
- Global Standard Food Safety. BRC Global Standards. Issue 8. (August/2018). Page 2.
- ¿En qué consiste la certificación?. Aenor. Website: https://www.aenor.com/certificacion/en-que-consiste-la-certificacion. Visited on: July/ 22/2020
- Alimentación. NQA. Organismo de Certificación Global. Website: https://www.nqa.com/es-es/certification/sectors/food-beverage Visited on: July/ 22/2020
- Principios y fundamentos de la norma BRC para la seguridad alimentaria. ISOTools Excellence. (29/Mayo/2015). Website: https://www.isotools.org/2015/05/29/principios-y-fundamentos-de-la-norma-brc/ Visited on: July/ 23/2020