In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC) developed and introduced the BRC technical standard and protocol for companies supplying retailer branded products. BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. The current standard was published January 2015 with Issue 8 coming out in August 2018.
BRC Food Safety Issue 8 : Time Lines
- January 2018 – standards wording finalised
- July/ August 2018 – standard published
- January/February 2019 – Audit commences
The number of BRC certified sites is a testament to the increased international popularity of the BRC standards. Currently there are almost 26,000 certified sites in 130 countries with the USA being the area of greatest growth. Achieving BRC Certification against the relevant BRC standard is an essential component of any business’s strategy for business continuity.
Regardless of which end of the food/product supply chain a business operates, due diligence is one of the most essential elements of business continuity. Achieving BRC Certification against the relevant BRC standard not only allows companies demonstrate due diligence, it also opens business opportunities with the most powerful sector in the supply chain, the retailer. The first step to achieving certification is to learn and understand your relevant standard.
BRC Issue 7 was published in January 2015 and came into effect July 1st 2015. Issue 8 will be published in July/August 2018 comes into effect from January/February 2019.
It is anticipated that the voluntary module concept will become more popular as “Food Safety Culture” and “FSMA” are ideas that Best Practice companies are pursuing. Changes to Section 1 will require Senior Management to establish a strategic plan for creating a robust food safety culture. This will require Senior Management to be engaged with the Food Safety Management System and not simply pay lip service to it.
Site security and food defense requirements have now been amended including threat assessment to align with FSMA expectations. The new changes will require that sites complete a risk assessment of internal and external threats.
It is proposed that 2 new sections will be added in Issue 8:
Section 8 has centralized all high risk, high care and ambient high care requirements. This ensures that both FBO and Auditor can concentrate on this area of enhanced importance.
Section 9 although still voluntary, incorporates the voluntary modules however non-conformances assigned against this section will now be included in the sites audit grade.