Compliance is a means to an end, not an end it itself Compliance

The importance of compliance in our industry is considerable. In the wake of a number of food scandals we are facing the challenge to regain and maintain the confidence of the consumer.

Moreover, our society focuses ever more on risk avoidance, together with globalisation this strengthens the trend towards more compliance. You want to avoid reputational damages and you do not want to be involved in scandals. And your customer most certainly does not want that either.

That is why many customers require of you that you comply with quality standards. And in turn you require this from your suppliers. And meanwhile these standards become ever more extensive with every renewal. The number of quality marks also increases. Précon assists you in managing your compliance and in making relevant choices.

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Quality Standards

During the 1990s there was question of a series of controversial international food scandals, including BSE, dioxin and listeria. The confidence of the consumer in the food industry was low. Within the food industry there was question of growing audit fatigue because supermarkets and brand manufacturers checked against their numerous internal standards, all developed individually. Moreover, the prices were under pressure; the supermarket war broke out.

That is why the CEOs of the world's largest food retailers agreed through their network to bundle forces: in May 2000 the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was set up. This foundation establishes benchmark requirements with which the food safety standards must comply. From farmer, producer, distributor to trader; everyone its own quality standard. Apart from GFSI there is another initiative in the Netherland that approves quality standards: An initiative of the Food Confidence Task Force. The Task Force established, in association with the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), criteria for private quality schedules, which must strengthen the private safeguarding of the food safety and, mostly, the food integrity.

GFSI opted for the benchmark approach because there were already existing initiatives. The British Retail Consortium had already published its first BRC standard for food safety in 1998. The German and French retailers had already started cooperating on the International Food Standard (IFS) and the Food Marketing Institute, the trade association for the North American retailers, developed its Safe Quality Food (SQF) standard.

At the moment there are 3 standards that were approved for the food industry by both the GFSI and BRC, IFS and FSSC 22000. The said FSSC 22000 is a Dutch initiative and, relatively, has most freedom of choice in the implementation of the rules. All these standards have versions for other industries, e.g. logistics and packaging.

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