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How to select an external manufacturer?

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#1 Paula da Silva

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:34 PM

Hi everyone,


I was wondering if you could help me with the below,

How do you select an external manufacturer that will produce your own branded products? What would the requirements be if is regarding a low risk product?

I’ve listed the following:


-GFSI scheme certification and full audit report. If Non Conformances raised in the audit, corrective actions and preventative plan also requested.

- If manufacturer hold other certification full audit report also required.

-Summary of HACCP and food safety plans.

-Supplier approval and raw material risk assessment 

-Traceability program

--Microbiological lot testing program for the product

-Certificate of analysis for all batches produced to ensure all food safety standards (microbial, for example) are met.

-Certificate of conformance for all batches produced to ensure product specifications are met.


-Good Manufacturing Practices established for food products (as a minimum quality standard)

-Quality Assurance Program and Standard Operating Procedures in place to ensure compliance with regulations and GMP.


Having in mind the products supplied will be low risk, is it compulsory to perform an audit?


thank you in advance everyone!!,















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#2 BrummyJim


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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:30 AM

Hi Paula,


Some of this will depend on whether this is a long term contract or just for a single run. My view is that for a long term contract you should put it out to tender. You need all the items listed above, with the addition of organic, kosher and halal if you think there is a possibility that you will want those in the future. Note that a GFSI certification (and audit report) will pretty much cover all the other issues you listed.


You want a track record of producing the sort of products that will be manufactured.

You will need to consider the logistics - where and how will the raw materials be sourced (you or the manufacturer)? Our sister company outsources to 2 companies and the arrangements are different. One has all materials supplied, and the other just has the key materials.

What about storage and distribution? Who will handle that?

You will want to audit them, if only to assure yourself that they are people you can work with. You need them to be open to your special requirements and work with you when you receive customer complaints.


I'm sure that there are more things to consider

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#3 SQFconsultant



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Posted 15 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

Hi Paula, that is a great list.


Yes, go and audit them - but don't let them provide with the horse and pony show, actually follow an audit format or have an experienced 3rd party auditor conduct the audit.

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Warm regards,


Glenn Oster


SQF Registered Consultant - Certified for 29 FSC's

Serving clients in: USA, Costa Rica, Panama & Caribbean Islands

International Toll-Free: 800-546-1452





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