The New Asda policy on supply chain food safety
Asda are the first retailer to have implemented a series of demands upon their supply chain, with the aim of tightening up food safety. It is, we think, a natural progression within retailer strategy – when something goes wrong, with regard to food safety, they are more often than not the first to take the blame. The broad scope of their new demands are:-
- From the 1st October 2013 all manufactures of ASDA Brand Food Products must have their BRC audits undertaken as “Unannounced Option 1″.
- All first tier material suppliers for ASDA Branded Food Products must be BRC (or GFSI) certified as part of the supply chain – this means the actual producers of those branded products, not at this stage the raw material suppliers to those producers, although the industry is in broad agreement that first tier producers are best placed to demand that their suppliers (the so called 2nd tier supply chain) are also BRC certified.
- All packaging suppliers used for “ASDA Branded Food Products” must have BRC/IoP certification.
- All storage and distribution activities associated with ASDA Branded Food Products must be carried out by a service supplier who is certificated to the BRC Storage & Distribution standard.”
BRC Certification of Storage and Distribution Companies
The last point we think is going to cause the biggest waves in the supply chain industry. From the work MQM Consulting has done in supporting some Storage and Distribution (S&D) customers in achieving BRC Certification we uncovered some surprising feedback from Storage and Distribution companies in general (although we would like readers to note that this information is from a relatively small sample of approximately 40 S&D companies contacted):-
- Many S&D companies do not have sufficient, current knowledge of what a HACCP food safety management system actually is, or what it is for. We estimate that up to 50% fall into this group.
- Some (we estimated about 30%) are currently of the opinion that they do not need a HACCP Plan as they “only handle and transport packaged foodstuffs”
- Less than 20% have produced a full HACCP based food safety management system, with a qualified team and with evidence of proper review.
We must note that, of our small sample, not all supplied Asda, but, as many commentators have pointed out, Asda is likely to be followed by other retailers with regard to this strategy.
In our next few blogs we are going to illustrate the main types of hazard and control that a Storage and Distribution company should consider in a documented HACCP Plan, whether supplying Asda, whether BRC certified or not! The key thing here is – it is a legal requirement under Article 5 of EC 852/2004 and so it is in the interests of the entire food supply chain to make sure that HACCP is seamless from producer to distributor to retailer. Food Storage and Distribution companies – watch this blog for information that will help you to implement an effective HACCP plan and for information and tips that will help you if you are considering achieving the BRC Storage and Distribution Standard, to open up the supply chain to retail market!