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SQF vs BRC


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#1 BlackOnyx

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:00 PM

I know this subject has probably been exhausted by I'm a new guy just looking for the best option for a company that only distributes chemicals and raw ingredients to food and pharmaceutical companies. We do not process or package anything. I would greatly appreciate any expert opinion concerning which scheme would be best considering we must be GFSI compliant in 2012.


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#2 Foodworker

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:41 PM

I don't know enough about SQF, but there is a BRC Storage and Distribution Standard which may be more applicable to you than the manufacturing standards.


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:42 PM

Dear BlackOnyx,

Welcome to the forum ! :welcome:

The truth is that no topic is ever fully exhausted, a new twist always seems to keep coming up. :smile:

I'm more a process-person but my guess is that the BRC Storage / Distribution, ISO 22000 will be two contenders ( but neither GFSI recognised i think, eg see link below, [no connection to myself]). Probably worth doing a bit of searching while you're waiting for some specialists.

http://www.paulvalde...d-auditing.aspx

Rgds / Charles.C

PS sorry for dupe Foodworker, you're a faster typist :smile:


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#4 BlackOnyx

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:00 PM

Thanks guys...So far I was told SQF was more expensive: requires Quickfire, 2 initial audits the first year & a SQF practitioner at our company. BRC has no such requirements if you pass the first audit. I heard mix reviews as far as which on is clearer...any input would be appreciated.


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#5 JAKMQA

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:56 PM

SQF is meant to be removing the SQF practitioner requirement with their next update (which should have been 2010).

You don't NEED Quickfire. That's just an extra cost by their software associates. Quickfire is really handy for the external auditors. I guess it also depends how busy your processes are. If you have a large amount of suppliers to approve, more than two shifts to work with, etc then Quickfire might come in handy for you.

If anything with SQF, there's a lot of paperwork. SQF strongly caters for farmers and food manufacturers with an emphasis on packaging requirements.

I've been told there's something wrong with me: I love the SQF program. I find it really easy. :rolleyes:

I've never worked with the BRC (it's on my list of things to do in 2011).

But for all the readers out there: I heard through the food safety grapevine that BRC is slowly diminishing. Is there any truth behind that? (Please don't yell at me all you lovers of BRC)

Oh, have you considered using the FSSC 22000? It's a combination of the ISO 22000:2005 & PAS 220:2008 and is approved by GFS.


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#6 jaredkkrischel

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:23 PM

I have always been told that BRC is "easier" to implement than SQF. I don't know if there is any truth to this or not but the company I am working for just decided to go with BRC certification. We are working on implementing it right now so I hope JAKMQA is wrong about the BRC diminishing.....
Has anybody else heard that the BRC is diminishing?


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#7 GMO

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:52 PM

But for all the readers out there: I heard through the food safety grapevine that BRC is slowly diminishing. Is there any truth behind that? (Please don't yell at me all you lovers of BRC)


Not heard that but there are some criticisms. BRC was designed with help from the retailers and so meant to replace a lot of their auditing but in practice the retailers still audit and to tougher standards. IME BRC though is still the most useful audits I've had (I've had ISO9000 based systems, BRC and retailers) and it is designed for the food industry. Unfortunately the quality of auditors have varied IME although with the suspension of National Britannia, perhaps they're getting tougher in that regard.

The thing is I don't think BRC will ever do what it was meant to do and remove the need for retailer audits because in their view it doesn't cover everything they want because necessarily it's a compromise between what Tesco wants, M&S want, industry bodies want etc. Also all of that talking takes time so the new standards probably don't come out as quickly as they'd like.

What BRC does do IMO, at least in the UK is lessen (slightly) the need for supplier auditing. Certainly if you have a supplier with an 'A' grade BRC, you might reduce their audit frequency or, depending on what the ingredient is, decide to not audit at all once an initial audit is completed and providing 'A' grade is maintained.

Edited by GMO, 07 February 2011 - 04:53 PM.

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#8 BlackOnyx

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:31 PM

The FSSC is not compatible for a distributor such as the company I work for and I heard (another grapevine) that it is increasing its popularity among food manufacturers (which might mean SQF or BRC is decreasing). I was also told by an auditor that more distributors (such as myself) are using BRC. It's up in the air.


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#9 esquef

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:17 PM

Another thing that separates BRC from SQF 2000 is that with SQF you can choose between 2 levels: Level 2 deals only with food safety, while Level 3 adds in quality (basically applying HACCP principles to qualityin addition to food safety safety). Level 1 is not GFSI recognised, so I'm not quite sure why anyone would want that. Never the less, if your company goes for SQF Level 2 it may be a bit easier to get certification than BRC(?).


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