The GFSI and BRC Global Standards
GFSI stands for the Global Food Safety Initiative, which is a project launched by the business forum CIES in 2000, to harmonise international food safety standards and reduce the need for multiple supplier audits. The CIES members include the worlds leading retailer organisations and food manufacturers.
Rather than create another Standard, the GFSI Technical Committee identified the key components necessary for good food safety standards and the operating protocols for the delivery of certification, whilst creating a benchmarking document.
Standard owners such as the BRC were invited to submit their Standards for benchmarking. It is important to recognise that the bench marking process was not designed to create a single super Standard, but to allow innovation and competitive development between Standard owners whilst meeting a core set of requirements. The BRC’s ability to react to changing food safety concerns, meet customer requirements, yet provide a simple, easy to follow process for manufacturers has led to the Standard becoming the most used GFSI equivalent Standard with over 15,000 certificated sites worldwide.
The BRC Global Standards for Food Safety was the first Standard to be recognised as meeting the benchmark back in 2000 and each issue has continued to be benchmarked since.
Benchmarking of the BRC Global Standard for food safety issue 6
The GFSI have stated that the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety continues to be a GFSI recognised program, whilst the benchmarking against the GFSI Guidance Document 6 is undertaken on the GFSI website.
As with every other issue of the BRC Standard, it has been submitted for benchmarking against the relevant GFSI Guidance Document, which co-incidentally is also Issue 6. Changes made to Issue 6 largely built upon the existing Issue 5 Standard by adding clarity and in places greater detail to ensure consistent application. The changes were made with careful consideration of GFSI requirements and with the benefit of having the new Guidance Document available for the rewrite process. The Standard is going through the benchmarking process against the new GFSI Guidance Document Issue 6 and has the same status as all of the other GFSI recognised schemes - none of which have been benchmarked against the new Guidance Document.
Benchmarking of the BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials issue 4
The GFSI developed a benchmark for packaging standards for the first time towards the end of 2010. The BRC support this initiative and were involved in the Technical Committee which developed the Benchmark process. The BRC have submitted its own Packaging Standard for benchmarking and expect to be GFSI recognised in the spring.
To find out more about the GFSI and the bench marking process GFSI website.