The BRC have recently announced the launch of their Standard for Agents & Brokers. The Standard has been developed to provide a framework to manage product safety, quality and legality for businesses in the food and food packaging industries which buy, sell or facilitate the trade of products. This new standard will apply to businesses concerned with the movement and trade of products, providing a critical link in their chain of custody. As recent events have shown in Europe these businesses can inﬂuence product safety and quality standards of their customers.
These recent events have led to calls from various stakeholders in the food industry to produce a standard for these businesses which can be certified and provide confidence to retailers, food service companies and manufacturers purchasing from these companies. As is the case with all BRC standards the scope covers product safety, quality and legality. It also covers specific areas relating to food defense and security.
The introduction of this standard is a welcome development for those agents and brokers in the sector who are have committed to best practice or are seeking to obtain it. Brokers cover companies that purchase or ‘take title to’ products for resale to manufacturers, other brokers, retailers or food service companies but not directly to the consumer. Agents or non-manufacturing service providers are companies that trade between a manufacturer or broker and their customer but do not at any point own or take title to the goods. Such companies provide a range of services to facilitate the safe and legal trade of products. The standard is also ideal for importers/exporters. These are companies that facilitate the movement of products across national boundaries, satisfying legal and customs requirements. In terms of products, the standard covers food products, food packaging and pet foods.
Safefood 360° is the perfect solution for Agents and Brokers
Following the release of the standard a number of week ago, we undertook a detailed gap analysis of the Safefood 360° platform to develop a specific solution for Agents and Brokers in line with the standard. This is now complete and we are delighted to offer our new solution. In addition to Safefood 360° covering all the requirements of the standard we have also integrated the complete audit checklists for the standard into the auditing modules (Internal and Suppliers). Below we have set out the requirements of the standard and Safefood 360° platform alignment.
|Requirement||SF360° Module||Requirement||SF360° Module|
|Senior Management Commitment||Yes||Management of incidents, product withdrawal and product recall||Yes|
|Organisational structure, responsibilities and management authority||Yes||Supplier and Subcontracted Service Management||Yes|
|Hazard and Risk Assessment||Yes||Approval and performance monitoring of manufacturers /packers of traded products||Yes|
|Product Safety and Quality Management System||Yes||Management of suppliers of services||Yes|
|Documentation control and Records||Yes||Product security/food defence||Yes|
|Internal audit||Yes||Product inspection and laboratory testing||Yes|
|Speciﬁcations for products||Yes||Product legality||Yes|
|Traceability||Yes||Product design / development||Yes|
|Complaint handling||Yes||Product release||Yes|
|Corrective action||Yes||Training and competency||Yes|
|Control of non-conforming product||Yes|
Supply Chain Management
One of the key aspects of compliance with this standard is how the agent or broker manages the efficacy of its own supply base and distribution network. By its nature this requires the collection and movement of large volumes of data and information. To attempt to do this using a manual paperwork system will add massive layers of administration and overhead to your business. Safefood 360’s Supply Chain Management solution which can be easily bolted on cuts across this.
It allows you to do the following:
- Use one account (your account) to set up supplier control programs for all your suppliers
- Individual portals for each supplier which allows your suppliers to log in and complete the required supply chain management activities
- Conduct all risk assessment, approvals and reviews
- Online self-assessment audits
- Online corrective action management
- Online inspection and test programs for suppliers
- Supplier uploading of specifications, corrective action evidence, COA, COC, movement documentation and lab test results
- Automatic alerts and notifications of all actions in advance of when they are required.
All of the above and more can be achieved through your Safefood 360° platform without setting up complex and costly IT infrastructures. The benefit of new web technologies are now available to all agents and brokers to get certified quickly and in a cost effective way. In addition, we have built in to the system a library of checklists for you to meet the requirements of internal auditing, supplier audits and food defense and security management.