Own-label manufacturers and spice suppliers will have to pay up to £650 to have their ingredients validated as two more major retailers join an initiative giving them control over ingredients purchasing.
Waitrose and Asda have joined Valid-IT, the programme for the control of spices, developed by Bodycote LawLabs with Tesco following the Sudan 1 crisis.
And Bodycote has confirmed it is in discussion with two more retailers interested in signing up.
The scheme validates the source of materials and ensures testing and traceability are in place - allowing retailers to check suppliers have appropriate certification to the BRC Global Standard Food or equivalent.
Depending on their position in the supply chain, a fee of £150 for spice buyers or £650 for spice processors is paid for an assessment, which covers them for all retailers signed up to the scheme.
The information on suppliers and ingredients is then accessible worldwide via a website.
Stephen Spice of Waitrose said: “Valid-IT is an important addition to our current systems for the control of suppliers and ingredients for our own-brand products.
“The programme reduces duplication of effort and costs by retailers sharing information through the Valid-IT portal.”
Waitrose has given its spice suppliers until August 2006 to register, after that it will only use suppliers that comply with the scheme.
When Tesco signed up last year, suppliers were angry at having to pay to join the scheme and said most spice suppliers already complied with all necessary regulations and assurance schemes.
At the time Tesco said the move was in response to customer concerns and that it was actually a commercial opportunity for suppliers, who paid the fee to get a recognised standard.
Bodycote LawLabs says the scheme has the potential to be rolled out to other foods, such as nuts and other allergenic products where traceability is becoming increasingly important.