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 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 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.
The scope of products applicable for certification
The Standard has a scope which covers certification for the following categories of products:
- Food products, including raw materials, processed foods, and fruit and vegetables.
- Packaging materials – primary, secondary and tertiary materials, and raw materials for the manufacture of packaging materials.
- Pet foods for domestic animals.
- Consumer products.
The Standard shall not apply to:
- animal feed for livestock
- bulk fuels
Certification against the Global Standard is recognised by many retailers, food service companies and manufacturers around the world when assessing the capabilities of their suppliers.
This Standard has been developed to specify the safety, quality and operational criteria required to fulfil obligations with regard to legal compliance and protection of the consumer or end user of the product.
The format and content of the Standard is designed to allow an assessment of a company’s product safety management systems and procedures by a competent third party – the certification body – against the requirements of the Standard.
What’s in the Agents and Brokers Standard?
The 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 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 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.
Sets out the standard needed to ensure employees are adequately trained and instructed and are demonstrably competent to carry out their activities.