10 December 2018

Draft version BRC Packaging Materials 6 published

Recently, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has published the draft of the BRC Global Standard for Packaging Materials, issue 6. In this draft the changes for the new standard are proposed. Up to and including 15 December the possibility exists to inspect the draft and to provide feedback to the BRC. This is possible via the following website.

Specifically for businesses that do not manufacture products that are in direct contact with food (the so-called ‘basic hygiene products’) we recommend thoroughly going through the entire standard because it is expressly requested to report the requirements that are deemed to be too challenging.

Précon made a list of the most important changes from the draft standard:

  • The changes are mostly in line with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), version 7.1, requirements as also implemented in a few other standards. There are, for instance, requirements with regard to Product Defence and Product Fraud. This compels businesses to conduct a risk analysis for Product Defence and Product Fraud and to prepare control measures on the basis of the same.
  • The performance of a cause analysis in conjunction with a continuous improvement cycle is deemed to be so important that it is included as a new fundamental requirement. It is expected of businesses that they observe a continuous cycle of improvement. If imposed targets are not met then businesses must retrieve the cause to make sure that it does not happen again in the future.
  • Also new in the draft is that the emphasis is placed on the creation of preconditions for the improvement of the product safety culture. The business must have a clear plan for the development and continuous improvement of product safety and quality culture be.
  • Where the standard used to be mostly a hygiene standard, the trend towards a standard that focuses more on product quality and safety is continued. This implies for the hazard analysis and risk inventory that potential quality issues must be identified. If control of it is necessary then Quality Control Points (QCPs) are identified.
  • In version 5 of the standard a distinction was made between ‘high hygiene products’ for primary packaging and ‘basic hygiene products’ for packaging that is not in direct contact with the food. This distinction disappeared and businesses are now deemed to substantiate on the basis of risk assessments whether hygiene standards must be used.
  • A new chapter was included specifically for the plastics industry. In this chapter requirements are included to prevent contamination of the surroundings (environment).
  • Finally, in line with the GFSI requirements a change was implemented in the audit protocol. Businesses can now only opt for completely unannounced or completely announced audits.

The impact of the changes depends on many factors, e.g. the products that you manufacture, the process and the present condition of your quality system. Do you have questions, comments or do you want to spar with us about the impact of the changes? Contact us via info@precon.group.


Bas Moolenschot
Bas Moolenschot

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