On 08 March 2023, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and BRCGS signed a Scheme Endorsement Agreement for the recognition of four BRCGS certification schemes under the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA).
Under this agreement, the BRCGS Global Standards for Food Safety, Agents and Brokers, Packaging Materials, and Storage and Distribution will be recognized by IAF as IAF MLA sub-scopes under the main scope of Product Certification. This recognition will ensure mutual recognition of accredited certification for each scheme by IAF MLA signatories operating in the scheme, reducing trade barriers and supporting product safety by allowing for the acceptance of accredited certificates in many markets based on one accreditation.
BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety
This scheme outlines requirements for the safety and quality of food products. It covers a wide range of areas, including senior management commitment, management systems, food safety planning, site standards, product and process control, and personnel. The standard is based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and is recognized and used worldwide by manufacturers, retailers, and food service providers.
BRCGS Global Standard for Agents and Brokers
This scheme provides a framework for agents, brokers and other intermediaries that handle products to manage product safety, quality, authenticity and legality. Accredited certification to this scheme can provide assurance to customers and other stakeholders that the products handled meet specified requirements, and help agents and brokers demonstrate their commitment to safety and quality.
BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging Materials
This scheme was developed to specify safety, quality and operational criteria for packaging management organizations. It covers areas including raw materials, production processes, and finished products. Accredited certification to this scheme can provide assurance that packaging materials are safe, of good quality and meet relevant regulations and laws.
BRCGS Global Standard for Storage and Distribution
This scheme specifies requirements for product storage and distribution practices. The criteria outlined in this scheme can help ensure that products meet relevant regulations and laws and reach customers in a safe and high-quality condition.
‘Ensuring the safety and quality of products is of paramount importance, as it directly impacts the health and well-being of consumers. IAF is delighted to be working with BRCGS to support food safety and consumer safety outcomes and reduce technical barriers to trade through the recognition of these schemes under the IAF MLA,’ said Emanuele Riva, IAF Chair.
‘Compliance is a critical cornerstone of our offering, a unique selling point that differentiates BRCGS from other food safety schemes and delivers results that Brand Owners can trust. Accreditation forms a part of that compliance as it confirms that our programmes operate to robust standards with highly competent auditors. Recognition of our certification programmes under the IAF MLA enables our 33,000 customers across 130 countries to access new markets while demonstrating that their products are safe, legal and authentic,’ said Karen Betts, BRCGS Head of Compliance.
The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is a global association of accreditation bodies, conformity assessment body associations and other organizations involved in conformity assessment in fields including validation and verification and the certification of management systems, products, processes, services and persons.
IAF promotes the worldwide acceptance of certificates of conformity and validation/verification statements issued by conformity assessment bodies accredited by IAF MLA signatories, and seeks to add value for all stakeholders through its activities and programs.