The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the leading trade association for UK retailing. Although the BRC food safety standard began in the UK, it is now recognized as a global standard. There are over 17,000 BRC certified sites worldwide, and a large network.
The BRC was the first standard to be recognized as meeting the GFSI benchmark. Benchmarking to GFSI ensures that the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is accepted by many of the world’s biggest retail groups, e.g., Walmart. The BRC’s ability to react to changing food safety concerns, meet customer requirements, and yet provide a simple, easy-to-follow process for manufacturers, has resulted in the Standard becoming one of the most popular GFSI standards.
The Standard provides benefits not only for the retail industry, but also for food manufacturers, importers, caterers, ingredient suppliers and the food service industry. It is currently used by suppliers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Far East, North and South America and Australia.
This Standard is most applicable to manufacturers of food contact packaging for retailers labelled products and branded products as well. Manufacturers have an obligation to put appropriate systems and controls in place to ensure the suitability of their packaging for safe food use.
The BRC and IOP (Institute of Packaging) have developed this Standard to assist retailers and food manufacturers in the fulfilment of their legal obligations. This Standard will help in the protection of the consumer by providing a common basis for the audit of companies supplying packaging for food products to retailers.
The main sections of the Standard are:-
- Hazard and risk management system
- Technical management system
- Factory Standards
- Contamination Control
- Risk Category Determination (The latest edition includes a useful guide to help you assess which category your product falls into)
- The Evaluation Protocol