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GFSI-like certifications for EU market


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#1 NicoD

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 12:53 PM

Hello everyone!

 

If we wanted to export pet foods from Canada to EU countries, do you know what kind of certifications are required there? Is there any GFSI-like certification that is accepted there? We're SQF level 2.

 

Thanks


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#2 Simon

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 06:31 PM

In the UK BRC is the main one and in mainland Europe France, Germany etc. IFS is the most popular, FSSC 22000 is growing also.

 

Who are your main target countries?

 

Regards,

Simon


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#3 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 05:20 AM

Hello everyone!

 

If we wanted to export pet foods from Canada to EU countries, do you know what kind of certifications are required there? Is there any GFSI-like certification that is accepted there? We're SQF level 2.

 

Thanks

 

a lot of retailers ask for GFSI schemes generally. However SQF is not very much known in Europe. Retailers in German and France do require IFS. UK required BRC even though some are now recognizing IFS (especially the discounters, that came originally from Germany) FSSC22000 is growing in certification, so it is probably more excepted.


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#4 CMHeywood

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:04 PM

There are four food safety schemes (set of requirements)for packaging that are GFSI benchmarked.

SQF Level 2

BRC

FSSC 22000

IFS PacSecure

 

I am not familiar with the certification for pet food for these four food safety schemes.  I work for a company that makes food-contact packaging, including pet food bags.

 

Simon does point out that SQF is not well known in Europe.  We had a potential customer in Poland who would not accept SQF Level 2 because someone told them it was just a HACCP program.  You may have to educate your potential customers.


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#5 Robert Rogers

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 04:15 PM

Many specific retailers will also have their own codes of practice and requirements.
For sure there will be similarities in requirements of the various GFSI based programs as they all follow the same benchmarking criteria.

That being said the goal GFSI of "once certified recognized everywhere" has not exactly been accepted throughout industry. For sure you will find individual customers requiring certain certifications or assurances the product is manufactured in a safe way and meets local legislation and other customers requiring different certifications.

 

 


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#6 GMO

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 04:56 PM

SQF is well enough known.  For UK retailers annoyingly they tend to audit as well as any GFSI.  BRC is better known in the UK though.


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#7 NicoD

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:21 PM

Thank you so much everybody, deeply appreciated.

Sorry for the delay, I'm being busy with more urgent projects.

 

To answer @Simon's question: we don't have particular target countries. We'd like to export Europe-wide (all EU countries).

 

So, it seems to me that this is the next logic steps are:

 

• Assess the acceptance of our current SQF level 2 certification

• If not enough, go with either IFS or BRC

 

Then of course we'll have to navigate through the labyrinth of the European regulations... I guess that'll have to be country by country... product by product... ingredient by ingredient... given the country(es) of origin...

 

Thanks again!


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#8 GMO

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:19 PM

 

Then of course we'll have to navigate through the labyrinth of the European regulations... I guess that'll have to be country by country... product by product... ingredient by ingredient... given the country(es) of origin...

 

Thanks again!

 

One excellent and oft overlooked joy of the EU is that to a very large degree the regulations are the same.  They may seem onerous from the outside but they are sensible and at least they are the same.  The problem comes when a member state "gold plates" the EU regulations but that's limited in food as far as I've found, it happens but not so much it's a major bother.  

 

As for your suppliers, many may supply the EU already and even if they don't, there are only a few quirky aspects which would be impacted by your supply chain.  The main difficulty would be if you supply the major retailers with "own label" products, especially in the UK.  They can be a pain but in fairness to them, they understand exporters often need more support and don't always push as hard for every little box to be ticked.  The good thing is they tell you what you need to do.  The bad thing is their requirements far exceed law.  I wouldn't put you off UK own label supply but it requires some effort and endurance.

 

Good luck.


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#9 NicoD

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 02:22 PM

Thanks GMO!

 

 

The problem comes when a member state "gold plates" the EU regulations but that's limited in food as far as I've found, it happens but not so much it's a major bother.  

 

What do you mean exactly with a state member that "gold plates" the EU regulations?

 

 

The main difficulty would be if you supply the major retailers with "own label" products, especially in the UK.

 
What do you mean with "own label" ?
 
 

I wouldn't put you off UK own label supply 

 

Sorry, I didn't get this...

 

Good luck.

 

Thank you! :)

 

 


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#10 GMO

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:37 PM

Thanks GMO!

 

 

 

What do you mean exactly with a state member that "gold plates" the EU regulations?

 

 

 
What do you mean with "own label" ?
 
 

 

Sorry, I didn't get this...

 

 

Thank you! :)

 

By "gold plates" I mean the member state goes further than the EU regulation actually required.  An example is some member states have different legislation on chilled temperature control and some will accept tighter limits on labelling whereas others don't accept something on their label which doesn't match the local law so, for example, most retailers in the UK will accept you putting "keep refrigerated below 5oC" on the label, even though the chill maximum temperature in the UK is a bonkers 8oC but I think it's the Netherlands who have a maximum of 7oC and will refuse any label which says a different temperature in a section in their language.  Another country I think has 6oC so on a multi lingual label for someone who speaks more than one language they may read that they are required to keep a pack "below 5oC, 6oC and 7oC in the same field of vision" which is slightly bonkers.  That said the similarities far outweigh the differences and I only wish the US labelling was as easy for me to follow.  At least for the EU we have so many countries, every bit of legislation is online and in multiple languages and the FSA in the UK are also pretty good at publishing interpretation guidelines which are sensible and easy to understand (better IMO than the FDA but I'm probably biased.)

 

By "own label" I mean non branded by the manufacturer but branded by the store.  So in the UK the biggest supermarket is Tesco.  If you make corn flakes say, on the shelf in Tesco they will have Kelloggs corn flakes but also Tesco corn flakes and the latter would be "own label".  It doesn't mean Tesco make them but they get manufacturers to make them for them under their branding.  Because it has the Tesco brand on it, they then demand more than legislative requirements as they want to protect their reputation as much as they want to protect the public.  Depending on the retailer, this then normally requires you to comply with a technical standard or standards which are normally more onerous than a GFSI scheme.  For some manufacturers this takes some getting used to.  That said, I'm sure it's the experience of many people here that UK retailers have driven standards far more than GFSI schemes in the UK and are far quicker to respond to incidents and threats.  They're not perfect, they didn't prevent horsegate but generally where retailer standards lead in the UK, GFSI standards widely adopted in the UK follow.

I can't talk for all EU countries because I have far more experience in the UK but a large number of supermarkets have large "own brand" ranges and it can be difficult and costly to get brands listed in store.  That said, as you're in petfood, the UK is a country of animal lovers.  I bet we spend a fortune pampering our pets.  Good luck!


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#11 GMO

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:38 PM

Sorry I meant "gold plated" not "gold plates".  It's been a very long day.


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#12 NicoD

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 05:50 PM

Sorry I meant "gold plated" not "gold plates".  It's been a very long day.

 

Oh great, now it's all clear, thanks GMO!


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