We are very excited to announce the launch of Issue 2.1 of the BRCGS Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing (ETRS) Global Standard. The new issue was published last week and can be accessed via BRCGS Participate or on the BRCGS Store.

The BRCGS ETRS Standard enables businesses to meet the ever-evolving needs of clients and consumers, and respond to the shift we are seeing in buyer, regulatory and investor behaviour. It is also the only global standard that provides supply chain confidence and true social compliance. For this reason, it was the first, and currently only, scheme of its kind to be benchmarked and recognised by the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI). The SSCI is committed to building trust in the consumer goods industry by recognising programmes that respect key sustainability criteria. It is the benchmark of choice for the consumer goods industry and complements the well-established and respected GFSI-recognised product safety standards. 

The ETRS Standard provides the framework for an evaluation of a sites processes and controls and its capability and effectiveness in delivering against the principles of ethical trade and responsible sourcing. The new Issue 2.1, has been revised to change the direction of the independent accreditation process from ISO 17021 to ISO 17065 to better suit our customers.  

In addition to updating the protocol to meet the requirements of ISO 17065, the focus of this revision has been on:

  • Adjusting some of the fundamental requirements as surveillance audits are no longer part of the process.
  • Adding a separate report as an output of the desktop audit.
  • Adding a new clause related to medical testing.
  • Adjusting the audit protocol to incorporate the blended audit approach.

Audits for the new issue will begin on 01 August 2023. This will apply to transitioning sites and any new companies wishing to gain certification for the ETRS Standard.

There will be lots of upcoming activity to increase awareness of Issue 2.1 to support transitioning sites and those looking to start their ETRS certification journey. This will include live webinars, events and training.

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Find out more about ETRS Issue 2.1