Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have been in close consultation with brands and specifiers to ensure that confidence is maintained in the standards of food safety and product integrity during the crisis, and as we enter a period of recovery.
While many organisations had business continuity plans and supply chain risk management processes in place, the impact of the virus caused severe disruption to the recognised and well-understood audit and compliance schedule.
In response to requests from a number of brands for greater assurance, BRCGS launched new options for the delivery of Certification; Blended audits, Full remote assessment and a Covid-19 Additional Module – designed to provide improved levels of assurance through a more extensive assessment process based on a full site self-assessment and the use of remote audit technologies.
Looking further ahead, many lessons will be learned once the worst impacts of COVID-19 subside, however it is highly likely that businesses will re-design their supply chain with future resilience in mind.
One alternative is to broaden the pool of suppliers or to look at alternative supply chain sourcing to use as required. This comes with additional cost and potential risk.
Early indications show that suppliers that can demonstrate additional assurance to buyers, will provide greater levels of confidence and be better positioned to thrive post Covid.
BRCGS’ Service Package, which is available free of charge, to all certificated sites contains an extensive range of tools that enable a site to improve and support assurance credentials.
A site can also take advantage of other tools to reinforce supply chain confidence. Food Safety Culture Excellence shows your customers that you have a clear strategy for the development and continuing improvement of a food safety and quality culture. A confidential reporting system shows that you have systems in place to capture wrongdoing at the site that may impact on food safety.
Finally, technological innovations are enabling supply chain visibility, to help identify and address supply chain trends and issues at an early stage.
BRCGS is well positioned to support both sites and brands through access and analysis of millions of data points from audits conducted in over 130 countries. This is a vital tool that sites can use to interrogate audit performance, comparisons with competitors or peers, and benchmarking information to improve your business.