SH Pratt uses Safefood 360° to maintain their BRCGS compliance
Beginning as a market business, Jack Wells purchased SH Pratt in Leighton Buzzard in the 1940s to help his sons, Gerry and Bob, forge their careers during wartime. Ten years later, SH Pratt was no longer a market gardener but a wholesaler of greengrocers and the brothers moved their operation to an established unit in Amersham.
The family’s journey supplying bananas into the UK market began in the 1960s when Bob moved the operation to King’s Langley and then Hemel Hampstead to focus solely on the banana market. Over fifty years later, the family legacy continues with Bob’s son Robert. The company operates from a 130,000 sq ft. facility, employing over 285 people and continues to supply one product to UK retailers tailored to their requirements.
Engrained as an ethos of their business, maintaining their BRCGS Standard against requirements has helped SH Pratt retain their credibility as a trusted importer and ripener of bananas throughout Europe. In an ever-digitizing world, they quickly realised the need to move from paper record keeping to a digital Food Safety and Supplier Management Solution to maintain compliance. The answer? Safefood 360°.
The Road to BRCGS Certification
SH Pratt acknowledges implementing a Standard needs to be considered as a journey – and as with all journeys – you have a part that’s easy to navigate and other routes that imply a bit more of an effort. Getting BRCGS certified was not without it’s challenges, but SH Pratt found that great interdepartmental communication helped facilitate the process. As a business, SH Pratt decided to include all departments in their road to certification – achieving a consistent AA grade.
“We see the implementation as a continuous journey, where sometimes you can stop, rest a little and appreciate the view for a while, but then you get on the journey again – it’s a constant ongoing process,” says Barbara Serra, Head of Technical Compliance at SH Pratt.
Serra continues: “BRCGS certification has helped with the change of culture within the business to being ‘ready on the day of the audit’ – audit ready every day. The philosophy is that every day is audit day and if you comply with the rules, they will become second nature, and empirically, we will be complying without even thinking about it.”
Implementing Safefood 360° to Maintain Compliance
After extensive research for Food Safety Systems, SH Pratt uses both the Food Safety Management Solution and the Supplier Quality Management Solution from Safefood 360°. Their previous system was based in keeping paper records, excel spread sheets, using administration resources across all departments. While the previous paper system helped them maintain their compliance, they quickly realized the burden of time on the technical team that put them on the search for a better solution. Deciding to slowly transition into Safefood 360° over the course of a year, Safefood 360° support and customer services helped them along the way to administer the transition with ease.
“Our site at Luton already had a system in place, so there was a period where we worked both systems,” says Serra. “This transition period, made smooth and efficient with the help of the Safefood 360° team, also included transferring the old system into the new platform with exciting ways to keep our new records. Our other site was just beginning and was seamless with everything needed in the Safefood 360° system itself.”
(Check out Safefood 360°’s blog for more information about food safety)
How has Safefood 360° helped SH Pratt maintain their BRCGS compliance?
Serra and her team recognize that by implementing the Safefood 360° systems, their team has freed up time and resources to maintain the compliance. “Our team has more time to improve our internal systems and we are able to correct errors as they appear in real time,” says Serra. “This has dramatically improved our business culture and understanding of the way we need to work in order to stay compliant.” For other companies looking to make the switch to digital, Serra claims: “Don’t hesitate! This was one of the best investments our business has made and the results speak for themselves. The transparency of the system is so obvious that all of our customers embraced the change. The results in our certification is the real proof of the benefits that Safefood 360°’s system can bring to a business like ours.”
Not only SH Pratt, but there are also already over thirty thousand users of Safefood 360° in the world. Visit our testimonial page to hear other customers’ comments about Safefood 360°.
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