LRQA Food blog from Cor Groenveld
As I get ready for next week’s GFSI conference in London, one of the key issues is going to be customised audits in the food supply chain. When you look at the current situation we have standalone audits, standalone certificates, the GFSI recognised standards like FSSC, Dutch HACCP, the BRC and a host of others. Those third-party schemes and standards cover a lot of needs looking at food safety and the food safety management system in companies and also in their supply chain. But more and more companies are asking us to look at other risks and other areas. Companies have their own requirements and they have specific vendor requirements. We are working with organisations to integrate those requirements in our audits, resulting in a customised assessment process.
We have a lot of clients like Cargill and Mars that we can sit down with and identify risks, issues and potential concerns. Then we can develop a customised audit programme covering not only a third party certificate if they need it, but especially those concerns and risk areas that are important for them. Important here is that in developing such a programme, particularly for multi-nationals with sites around the globe, is that we can use the data coming from these audits to show them their strength and weaknesses. This benchmarking helps organisations to improve across their entire food supply chain.
In an age where information is king, customised audits are offering companies a window into their entire supply chain, helping them and their suppliers/retailers improve their performance and reduce their risk.
I will be at the event in London (16th February - 18th February) which is one of the biggest global food safety conferences.
You can find out more about LRQA's food month activities at www.food.lrqa.com
Read my previous blog and listen to the 'food month' podcasts