The British Retail Consortium (or BRC) is one of the leading trade associations in the United Kingdom. They represent all forms of retailers from small, independently owned stores, to big chain stores and department stores. It represents 80% of retail trade in the UK by turnover.
In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC), responding to industry needs, developed and introduced the BRC Food Technical Standard to be used to evaluate manufacturers of retailers’ own-brand food products. It is designed to assist retailers and brand owners produce food products of consistent safety and quality and assist with their ‘due diligence’ defence, should they be subject to a prosecution by the enforcement authorities. Under EU food Law, retailers and brand owners have a legal responsibility for their brands.
In a short space of time, this Standard became invaluable to other organizations across the sector. It was and still is regarded as the benchmark for best practice in the food industry. This and its use outside the UK has seen it evolve into a Global Standard used not just to assess retailer suppliers, but as a framework upon which many companies have based their supplier assessment programmers and manufacture of branded products.
Many UK, North American, and many European retailers, and brand owners will only consider a business with suppliers who have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard.
BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM (BRC) HAS TO BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS:
- Global Standard for Food Safety; Issue 5
- Global Standards for Consumer Products; Issue 3
- Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials; Issue 3
- Global Standard for Storage and Distribution; Issue 1
What does the standard Cover:
BRC standard covers the following areas:
- An adaptation of formal Hazard analysis system
- A documented technical management System
- Control of factory standard(s), product, process, and systems
- HACCP System
- Quality Management System
- Internal Audit
- Corrective Actions
- Layout / product flow/ Segregation
- House Keeping and Hygiene
- Handling requirements for specific materials
- Control of operations and Training.
BRC Consumer products are applicable to organizations that manufacture and store a wide range of non-food products prior to delivery to retailers including:
- Personal care items and household cleaning
- Clothing, footwear and accessories, and household textiles
- Decorating items, furniture, soft furnishings, carpets, and flooring
- Cooking equipment, crockery, utensils, and barbecues
- Horticultural products, garden furniture and tools, and equipment.
- Domestic appliances, personal computers, and entertainment systems
BRC for packing and packing products is applicable to the manufacturer or supplier of packaging and those products are used with retailer branded food products, are covered under this standard. The requirements of the standard differ depending on the risk your products present to the food. In the standard, there is a simple ‘decision tree’ that will help you determine whether you are a category ‘B’ supplier and must meet the higher level requirements of the standard, or a category ‘A’ supplier for whom the requirements are a little less rigorous.
The standard is flexible and allows suppliers to operate both category A and B standards in separate ‘risk areas’ of the factory. In addition, suppliers may apply for exemptions to certain clauses of the standard if they can be identified and confirmed through the hazard analysis