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Changing Certifications, should we drop ISO 9001?

ISO BRC FSSC Standards EU

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#1 Kelly S

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 11:10 PM

I apologise if this is in the wrong thread, I wasn't 100% sure where to put it.

 

I was hoping to ask everyone's advice on whether or not to keep our ISO certification.

 

I've recently joined a new company where they're looking to export FSMP products to Germany to distribute through the EU. There's also a plan to export to India.

 

The current certifications we hold are HACCP, ISO 9001 and SQF. We're going to drop the SQF and transition to BRC as that's what we've been told we need for India. With regards to the EU, will BRC on it's own be good enough or should we keep the ISO going as well (with a potential aim to upgrade to FSSC)? I've had more experience importing into Australia than out of it and am not sure what the preference is in the EU countries. We have asked the customer but they're not being especially helpful.

 

For a bit more context, from Germany the products will be going to the UK, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and into Germany itself. Products won't be sold to the general public but will be going to hospitals, aged care facilities, etc.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice and Happy New Year!!


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:08 AM

Hi KellyS,

 

What is FSMP ?

 

You seem to have forgotten IFS ? May be required in Germany et al.

 

It usually comes back to the Customer(s).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Kelly S

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 03:41 AM

Hi Charles,

 

It's Foods for Special Medical Purposes. And I was aware of IFS however I don't believe there are a lot of auditors for it here in Aus.

 

Again, we have asked the customer ad nauseam but they're just not giving us an answer so we're trying to be pro-active.I just don't know enough about the EU industry to comfortably make a call.

 

Hi KellyS,

 

What is FSMP ?

 

You seem to have forgotten IFS ? May be required in Germany et al.

 

It usually comes back to the Customer(s).


“Will this be on the test?" "Yeah, about the test. The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions, that when taken together, make your life yours. And everything — EVERYTHING — will be on it.”

                  -  John Green


#4 Charles.C

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 05:24 AM

Hi Charles,

 

It's Foods for Special Medical Purposes. And I was aware of IFS however I don't believe there are a lot of auditors for it here in Aus.

 

Again, we have asked the customer ad nauseam but they're just not giving us an answer so we're trying to be pro-active.I just don't know enough about the EU industry to comfortably make a call.

 

Hi Kelly.S,

 

FSMP sounds a rather ambiguous terminology.

.

IIRC, a recent poster here mentioned that IFS is more commonly requested in Germany than BRC. so i guess you may need to (proactively consider it).

One obvious distinguishing characteristic is the scoring system. I also deduce from the occasional textual features that the English version is a translation.

 

I don't understand why a reputable customer would be reluctant to detail their FS expectations. IMEX it's usually the other way round.

 

The EU distribution/usage of GFSI-recognised Food Standards has actually been discussed here several times although you may have to search a bit.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 GMO

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 08:50 AM

IIRC, a recent poster here mentioned that IFS is more commonly requested in Germany than BRC. so i guess you may need to (proactively consider it).

One obvious distinguishing characteristic is the scoring system. I also deduce from the occasional textual features that the English version is a translation.

 

We're in the UK and export worldwide.  We've never had a problem with using our BRC certification, it's widely accepted in the EU and we export heavily to Germany and have never been asked for IFS.  BRC is now more outward looking than it has been especially for the new version coming through and of course is aligned with EU legislation.  ISO9001 is not accepted because it's not one of the GFSI standards.  In the UK BRC is very, very well known and the other GFSI standards aren't but that said, they normally are accepted by most companies.

 

If you're exporting to the UK under a retailer brand (i.e. you have something like "Tesco" or "Sainsbury's" on the pack) then you should also expect the retailer to audit you, very few of them don't but if it's your own brand then you should be fine just with BRC or other GFSI standard.  (In fact strictly speaking no GFSI standard is required by law in the UK but it's always appreciated as it helps improve standards.)



#6 GMO

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 09:29 AM

It's Foods for Special Medical Purposes.

 

 

Sorry should have read that.  In all honesty the "right" answer should be any GFSI I would think but your consideration should be whatever makes it very, very safe!



#7 Quality.WA

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 04:08 AM

Hi Kelly S

 

Our business has just made the decision to drop ISO9001 as we have BRC & HACCP accreditations and our clients who export to China, Europe and America among others have not requested/do not require us to have ISO9001 (this is over a period of many years and includes any requirement from the domestic market too) as the other accreditations cover the relevant requirements. We are in a different food sector to yourselves and our products are low risk however ISO9001 is about 'best practice' business management for continual improvement rather than food safety; the decision to drop it should be assessed in conjunction with Management to ensure the business will not be substantially affected by the removal of the QMS. If dropped the use of a change management process should make for a smooth transition.

 

Good luck!



#8 beautiophile

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 04:31 AM

Hi Kelly S

 

Our business has just made the decision to drop ISO9001 as we have BRC & HACCP accreditations and our clients who export to China, Europe and America among others have not requested/do not require us to have ISO9001 (this is over a period of many years and includes any requirement from the domestic market too) as the other accreditations cover the relevant requirements. We are in a different food sector to yourselves and our products are low risk however ISO9001 is about 'best practice' business management for continual improvement rather than food safety; the decision to drop it should be assessed in conjunction with Management to ensure the business will not be substantially affected by the removal of the QMS. If dropped the use of a change management process should make for a smooth transition.

 

Good luck!

In my experience, dropping ISO9001 while keeping other certifications is very convenient for operation and documenting, because other standards have similar requirements of ISO9001. The problem is that ISO9001 is so overrated. Some of our customers will urge us to acquire it. I think you might ask your sale team to make a survey or risk analysis whether your current customers are ok with that decision or the possibility of not getting new customers. 

-Just want to share ideas.







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