The directory, announced by the BRC and retail software specialist Trace One, is expected to allow retailers and suppliers to quickly become compliant with the new BRC Global Standard, Version 7, which came into effect last month (July).
The directory will also allow smaller suppliers to gain entry-level audits without needing full BRC Global Standards certification, allowing them to target new global markets, according to a spokesman for Trace One, which powers the new directory.
The directory now supports over 23,000 certificated manufacturers in 123 countries, as well as 1,600 auditors associated with around 77 certification bodies.
Reduce multiple audit visits
With the new portal, retailers can now specify that their own scheme modules are audited at the same time as the BRC Food 7 audit visit is undertaken. This is expected to dramatically reduce the time, cost and productivity implications that multiple audit visits have previously placed on manufacturers.
The enhanced functionality enables BRC Global Standards to add and manage retailer-specific scheme modules within the Version 7 template while enabling users to list, search and report on these additional certifications.
New suppliers can initially be certificated against entry-level audits, which means that organisations that are not ready for or do not need full BRC Global Standards certification can still demonstrate best practice in food safety.
“The rise in consumer demand for food quality information shows no sign of abating,” said Trace One ceo Jerome Malavoy. “This is reflected in the amount of certification information on record with upwards of 100 audits being uploaded to the directory in an average day.”
‘Complete compliance with Food 7’
Mark Proctor, ceo of BRC Global Standards, added: “No two retailers or suppliers are alike. With these additions, we’ve not only given the industry a means to trust in its complete compliance with Food 7 but we’ve also ensured that food retailers and manufacturers can pursue their own food safety measures, and the competitive differentiation these enable, more cost effectively.”
The directory’s launch follows news that many food manufacturers are not up to speed with vulnerability assessments, which are a focus of Version 7 of the BRC Global Standard.
BRC auditor Cert ID has claimed that there is lack consistency in the type and scope of many assessments currently being undertaken.
“Food manufacturers are expected to assess their management of ‘vulnerable areas’ within their supply chain to identify potential food fraud ‘hotspots’,” said Richard Werran, md of Cert ID.
“With no coherent format nor approach to vulnerability assessments, [this] permits each supplier to ‘do their own thing’; the lack of consistency adds up to a major headache for retailers trying to de-risk their business.”
Don’t miss Food Manufacture Group’s Food safety conference: ‘Safer food and drink – from harvest to home, which takes place at The Lowry in Manchester on Tuesday September 29. For more information visit the conference website or call 01293 610 354