BRC food safety compliance

In general, the primary goal of a trade association is to advance the position of its members and the industry they belong to. But by pursuing their own interests, these associations often improve conditions for both workers and consumers.

One such organization, the British Retail Consortium, has specifically helped to advance food safety practices for businesses all around the world.

British Retail Consortium (BRC)

The British Retail Consortium, or “BRC” for short, is a trade association in the United Kingdom. Formed in 1992, this association developed its own set of guidelines for food manufacturers and retailers to follow.

These guidelines, known as the “Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards” (BRCGS) have since become widely used across the globe. Today, BRCGS is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), meaning that it qualifies food products for international quality and safety standards.

As a GFSI-certified program owner, BRCGS holds the authority to determine the quality and compliance of food products against its own requirements. In other words, businesses with a BRC food safety stamp of approval can drastically simplify the process of distributing their products to other countries.

Compliance and certification requirements

Having a food safety certification like the one that the BRC offers is an easy way to expand your potential client base. That’s because most retailers want to be sure that the products on their shelves are safe for consumers.

There are several different BRCGS standards to follow, some of which include: packaging materials, gluten free certification, and ethical trade.

The general BRC for food safety compliance covers topics such as:

  • Product safety for both consumers and workers
  • Legal compliance for distribution, ingredient use, etc.
  • Food manufacturing control measures
  • Safe processing and packaging
  • Allergen safety

Once you understand the requirements of the BRCGS certification you want, you can schedule an audit with a registered certification body.

Helpful food safety resources

Overall, pursuing BRC food safety certification is relatively straightforward. The best resource to get started is the BRCGS guide on how to get started. It contains a detailed description of each step in the certification process. The site also has training modules, print resources, and other events related to BRC compliance.

Another great resource is the International Food Safety & Quality Network (IFSQN) forum page. There, you can find real-time discussions between food safety professionals on BRC-related topics (among many others). If you get stuck during the certification process or need advice while problem solving a specific issue at your facility, this is an easy place to find knowledgeable peers who can help.