Agents and Brokers (non-manufacturing traders) who buy, sell or facilitate the trade of products, provide a critical link in the movement and trade of products, and influence supplier product safety and quality standards, as well as being responsible for maintaining an effective chain of traceability.

The BRC Global Standard for Agents and Brokers has been developed to provide a framework for managing product safety, quality and legality for these non-manufacturing businesses in the food and packaging industries.

The BRC Global Standard for agents and brokers is aimed at:

  • Brokers: Companies that purchase or ‘take title to’ products for resale to manufacturers, other brokers, retailers or food service companies, but not directly to the consumer.

  • Agents or non-manufacturing service providers: Companies that trade between a manufacturer or broker and their customers, but do not own or take title to the goods.

  • Importers/Exporters: Companies that facilitate the movement of products across national boundaries, satisfying legal and customs requirements. Importers and exporters may also be agents and/or brokers.

What’s in the Agents and Brokers Standard?

The BRC Global Standard is divided into five sections:

1. Senior management commitment and continual improvement

Consistent product safety is the responsibility of everyone within the company. The starting point for an effective product safety plan is the commitment of senior management to the implementation of the BRC Global Standard and continual development. This includes providing adequate resources, effective communication, system reviews, actions taken and opportunities for improvement.

2. Hazard and risk assessment

The BRC Global Standard requires the development of a product safety plan covering the services/operations the company manages or specifies. This is based on the principles of hazard and risk analysis (commonly known as HACCP in the food industry) and must be documented, comprehensive, fully implemented and maintained.

3. Product safety and quality management system

Sets out the requirements for the management of product safety and quality. This includes requirements for document control, internal auditing, control of non-conforming product and the management of incidents and product recalls.

4. Supplier and subcontracted service management

The selection and management of product manufacturers, subcontractors and service providers is key to the management of product safety. A risk-based approach is used to ensure products and services are only sourced from approved manufacturers, following agreed specifications, with a traceable and transparent supply chain.

5. Personnel

Sets out the standard needed to ensure employees are adequately trained and instructed and are demonstrably competent to carry out their activities.