Last September, the BRC/IoP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials was the first standard for the safe production of packaging to be recognised in this way by the GFSI, which is managed by the Paris-based Consumer Goods Forum.
The logic of international standards was clear, said packaging technical manager at BRC Global Standards Joanna Griffiths. "What if you, as a company based in the UK, do not have the resources or time to visit each and every one of your packaging suppliers from around the world? Independent third-party certification is now commonly the first point of verification for major brand owners and retailers, and the growth of these certification schemes is validation itself that they are valuable and effective."
The BRC standard's risk mitigation benefits have been maintained via a series of revisions, Griffiths added. "Issue 4 requires that, where possible, packaging manufacturers and users communicate the use of the material to ensure any known incompatibilities can be avoided." This fourth version of the standard includes printed packaging for the first time, with a focus on approval processes and quality consistency.
When the GFSI benchmarking was announced, BRC technical director David Brackston said in a statement: "This provides added value and recognition to the large number of BRC/IoP packaging certificated sites that have worked hard over the years to achieve the demands of their customers."
The BRC's Food Technical Standard was introduced in 1998, with the first Packaging Standard published in conjunction with the Institute of Packaging (IOP) in 2001. Some 2,200 sites are certified to the standard across 72 countries.