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White Papers

White Papers

BRCGS publish a series of white papers to expand individual's and organisations' understanding of the BRCGS certification schemes. These white papers provide detailed information and analysis making the exchange of technical knowledge possible, providing a positive and measurable difference.

Crossing Borders: Consumer Protection in an E-Commerce Boom (June 2021)

The shift to e-commerce has defined the story of retail since the turn of the millennium. The pandemic has only accelerated the pace and consequences of this transition. The inexorable global rise of what is becoming known as ‘liquid retail’; where the lines between home delivery, e-commerce, in-home and out-of-home become increasingly blurred, making competition in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) fiercer than ever.

But what does this all mean for brands, retailers and manufacturers - particularly those with a focus on consumer products, which are so ubiquitous in the lives of billions every day?

Download the Whitepaper on Consumer Products
The Growing Global Importance of Reliable Gluten-Free Products (May 2021)

With the prevalence of coeliac disease and gluten intolerance, the gluten-free product market is growing as is the market for gluten-free certification. A number of challenges must be overcome to produce safe, reliable gluten-free foods that inspire consumer confidence. These exist throughout the supply chain, from preventing cross contamination in the production process through to branding products with a gluten-free trademark that retailers and most importantly, consumers, truly trust. The consequences of mis-labelling a product as gluten-free are serious. This is the case for both the consumer, who may suffer serious short- and longer-term health impacts, and brands, which may incur reputational damage and significant costs through product recalls and criminal and civil action.

This new whitepaper examines the growing popularity of gluten-free products and the increasingly important role they play in many of our lives. It considers the challenges that brands and suppliers must overcome to offer consumers reliable, trusted gluten-free products, as well as setting out the consequences for all parties when they fail to do so. It also considers how credible and global certification can support brand, manufacturer and consumer confidence.

Download the Whitepaper on Gluten-Free
How Ethical Trade Standards and Responsible Sourcing are driving consumer behaviour and investment decisions (January 2020)

Buying behaviour is changing and the relationship between global brands and the customers who support them is being transformed by the growing emergence of the conscientious consumer. 

Last year in the UK alone, consumer spending on ethical products, across 27 sectors, reached £83.3 billion, according to the Ethical Consumer Markets Report. Mintel research recently reported that 56 percent of US consumers stop buying from companies they believe are unethical. Purchase choices are increasingly influenced by environmental and ethical considerations as consumers seek assurance about their purchase from the sourcing of raw materials to manufacturing and through to point of sale.

Information about supply chains, materials and processes can be an inspiring part of a brand and a product’s story. However, brands are faced by consumer scepticism about their commitment to ethical trade and responsible sourcing.

This whitepaper investigates how ethical consumption trends have influenced consumer behaviour, investment priorities, national and international regulation, and how brand owners are responding to calls for the application of universal ethical trade and responsible sourcing standards. It includes a foreword from Dr David Bek, a Reader in Sustainable Economies based at the Research Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University (UK), who shares his view on how high quality auditing and the implementation of pathways to improvement at sites of production, can mitigate the very real risks which threaten not only businesses’ licence to operate but the very foundations of the global economy as we have come to experience it. Such an approach can give consumers the reassurance they seek and workers the protection they deserve.

Download our Ethical Whitepaper
Prevention is better than cure

This paper covers the potential impact of product recalls in the food and feed sector, highlighting and exploring the three most common causes.

It details the ways in which manufacturers and laboratories can support the quality assurance of food products and establish confidence in their analytical methods, thus protecting consumers and preventing potentially costly and brand-damaging incidents or recalls.

Download the Whitepaper on Product Recalls
Fighting Food Fraud The role of proficiency testing in protecting product integrity

Consumers need to have access to safe and high quality food. Foods such as dairy products, olive oil, honey, herbs and spices, meat and fish have historically been the target of fraud because of their high commercial value.

The prevention of fraud and promotion of pure/authentic products is vital to guarantee commercial success of products on the market and thus to protect business and of course, consumers. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in food fraud events, including an 800% increase for honey and other sweeteners events.

Fraudsters are more technologically savvy and increasingly using more sophisticated approaches to adulterate food, making it more difficult to detect the fraud. This means that a wider range of methods are required in the analytical toolkit used to combat food fraud including new approaches and technologies.

Measurement results of high quality are vital to inform risk assessments and enable the design of programmes to help secure global food supply chains and protect consumers and legitimate businesses from food fraud.

Download the Whitepaper on Food Fraud
The Missing Link: Supply Chain Safety & Integrity in the warehousing and logistics sector (October (2020)

Storage and Distribution is often a missing link when it comes to product safety. Product integrity can be severely compromised if the route to market doesn’t meet the same standards as those involved in the manufacturing process. This can result in damaged goods and the cost of refunds to consumers or worse still, food borne illness.

This paper examines the factors fuelling growth in the Storage and Distribution sector. It investigates the consequences of poor safety and compliance in supply chains and how preparedness is key for retailers and brands as they adapt to evolving and unpredictable market conditions. Building consumer confidence is key to sustaining economic growth at times of uncertainty.  Steps taken to reinforce confidence will ensure brands and retailers can continue to focus on growing market share by delivering quality goods to those who rely on them when they need them most.

Download our Storage and Distribution Whitepaper
How a universally Plant-Based Standard delivers consumer and brand confidence (september 2020)

The popularity of plant-based food has been gathering momentum and reflects a growing sense of unease among some consumers over the impact that modern industrial farming methods have on the environment and animal welfare practices, as well as the impact of a predominately meat-based diet on our health.

There are clear commercial opportunities created by the rise of vegetarianism, veganism and plant-based diets. However, the industry faces the challenge of meeting consumer demand while also protecting brand reputation and mitigating risk. How can brands connect with consumers, allowing them to make informed decisions, while confidently offering authentic plant-based products?

The paper investigates key factors driving the demand for sustainable plant-based food production and how manufacturers are dealing with the challenges placed upon them. Specifically, it addresses the need for a universal plant-based benchmark that guarantees consumers can make food choices with confidence and retailers can make informed choices about their supply chain.

Download our Plant-Based Whitepaper
Four steps to an effective whistleblowing system (2020)

The 2018 Report to the Nations from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that reports from employees and outside parties are by far the most common method of detecting wrongdoing. The same report found that half of all corruption cases were detected by a tip.

Several of our Global Standards also require the implementation of a confidential reporting system.

Given the importance of safety and compliance in the sectors covered by the Standards, and its associated impact on consumer trust and your brand, an effective whistleblowing system is clearly a worthwhile investment; but the key word here is 'effective'.

Our white paper outlines four steps to an effective whistleblowing system.

Download our Confidential Reporting Whitepaper
The introduction of a third party certification program for suppliers of consumer products (April 2019)

This paper reviews a pilot study by BRCGS and a leading global brand owner. It sets out the results of the pilot against the brand owners’ key objectives of efficiency, quality and cost to demonstrate the effectiveness and the advantages of a switch to internationally recognised standards, as seen with food safety and ethical.

BRCGS has worked closely with many global brand owners over several years across food and non-food and have a large number of suppliers using our range of Standards. This paper highlights the value of BRCGS' as a critical component of supply chain assurance.

Download the Value of 3rd Party Certification
The impact of conscious consumption on product standards and certification (February 2019)

It is widely accepted that consumers globally are becoming better informed and more demanding, and also more vocal when their expectations are not met.

This short paper examines these trends by reviewing the available evidence and considers the impact of conscious consumption, as it is often called, on product standards and certification.

The paper also touches on enhancements to the BRCGS suite of standards and tools which reflect changes to the social, environmental, technological and regulatory context.

Download our Conscious Consumer Whitepaper
A comparative analysis of food safety standards: The BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety, ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 (May 2018)

Appropriateness of a scheme or a Standard, with respect to the industry, a site and its customers, can be measured by considering the scope and coverage of the scheme, ease of interpretation and understanding, ability to train the concerned personnel on its requirements, adequacy of guidelines for implementation, qualification of auditors and certification bodies, effective audit methodology, adherence to protocol, availability of correct information about the site and recognition of the scheme for the trade (both global and local). These criteria form the basis for a comparative evaluation of the BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety, the FSSC 22000 Standard and the ISO 22000 Standard.

Download a comparative analysis of food safety standards
Will retailers use the GFSI benchmarked standards for their own operations?

It has always been the retailers that have been the driving force for GFSI certification schemes to protect their own brand. With manufactures and distributors deriving significant benefits from the certification process, is there scope for retailers to benefit themselves from these standards, in addition to supporting their supply chain assurance programmes? This whitepaper asks whether GFSI schemes can help retailers to manage calibration across their stores, identify and manage outliers and manage their brand through franchise operations.

Download our Retail Whitepaper
Complexity, transparency and integrity: The forces shaping the future of supply chain assurance (June 2021)

This paper examines the global forces that are transforming supply chain assurance from a series of interventions to mitigate risk to a connected strategy to drive value and reduce risk. It looks at how intelligent assurance, a performance-led philosophy that connects every touchpoint in the supply chain, can protect the consumer and safeguard brand reputation.

Connecting the dots of Supply Chain Assurance with the launch of LGC ASSURE