4/26/2012 1:56 PM
BRC Global Standards Conference, March 6-8
The Millenium Hotel in Mayfair played host to 2012's Global Standards conference, exclusively for BRC certification bodies and approved training providers. Along with the main conference, a wide range of sessions were held including an examination of the BRC's compliance strategy, a risk analysis covering Consumer Products and Packaging, and a hands on ATP session from Azin.
BRC's Commercial Director, Tessa Kelly, opened up the main conference on Tuesday, March 6, with an overview of the past year and plans for 2012. We were given an insight into the spectacular rate of growth of the Standards since last year; North America and Southern Europe grew by 23%, whilst Asia increased by 11%. In total, the number of sites all over the world have increased by 2086.
Tessa also emphasised the importance of food safety and the ever-increasing demand through a rather poignant quote,
“In order to feed all the people on Earth over the next 50 years or so, we will have to produce as much
food as we have ever produced as
humans throughout our history”
Karen Betts, Compliance Manager really focused on the meaning of integrity explaining that the key objectives of the BRC Compliance Programme are:
- Ensure Consistency
- Build Confidence for Users
- Allow Transparency
David Brackston, Technical Director, and Jo Griffiths, Packaging Manager, explained the future of Food and Packaging, whilst John Kukoly, US Technical Specialist, talked about the changing role of certification and the effect of the US Food Modernisation Act.
If you haven't already downloaded the presentations from the conference, they are still available on myBRC.
BRC Global Food Safety 2012, March 26-30
The windy city provided the backdrop for our very first international conference. BRC Global Food Safety was held at the exclusive Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chicago and it certainly didn't disappoint!
An array of subjects were covered by industry leading speakers. Led by Dr Geoff Spriegel, we were lucky enough to hear from the likes of Mike Hayes from Del Monte Foods, Dr. Randall Huffman from Maple Leaf Foods, Kimberley Reed from the International Food Information Council (IFIC), and Gillian Kelleher from Wegmans Food Markets.
Dr Randall Huffman reviewed the 2008 Listeriosis outbreak and the action plan after the crisis, citing that there has to be appropriate communication and training at all levels to ensure food safety.
Craig Wilson from Costco discussed their response to a previous recall - it involved 23 different agencies and 1.4 million calls per hour to customers. He stressed that Costco's priority is letting customers know simply quickly.
Meanwhile, Sara Mortimer from Land O' Lakes stated that BRC is an ongoing process, not a one time event. Her motto is "Stay ready, don't get ready!"
A splendid dinner took place on the Wednesday evening, which was kindly sponsored by Trace One. From my own personal perspective, it was really great to network and get to know our audience over in the States better. We agreed that we all had the same agenda - that food safety management is improved and that this event really went some way to show that the BRC team are dedicated to the cause.