What are your thoughts on clause 4.1.1 of the BRC Agents & Brokers Standard:
The company shall have a documented supplier approval procedure which identifies the
process for initial and ongoing approval of suppliers and the manufacturer/processor of each
product traded. The requirements shall be based on the results of a risk assessment which
shall include consideration of:
● the nature of the product and associated risks
● customer-specific requirements
● legislative requirements in the country of sale or importation of the product
● source or country of origin
● potential for adulteration or fraud
● the brand identity of products, i.e. customer own brand or branded product.
I seem to have got stuck in a hole on this one and am going round in circles!
The first two points are reasonably straight-forward, I suppose – if you know the product you want to buy has particular problems then you make sure the potential supplier knows how to deal with them, and if you are aware of pre-existing customer-specific requirements then you take these into consideration when looking at new suppliers.
legislative requirements in the country of sale or importation of the product: How does this affect the supplier? As an example, we have to have EU novel food approval for one of our products (chia seeds) but this is our responsibility and nothing to do with the supplier in South America. I suppose for organic products you need to check that a supplier’s certification is equivalent but this isn’t really risk as such, in my view. Can anyone suggest any examples where this point might be relevant?
source or country of origin: How is this to be assessed? Is the food legislation of a particular country to be reviewed? I am assuming this is not suggesting that decisions are to be made on reputation / stereotype alone? Maybe the idea is that the further away a source country is the more chance there is for something to go wrong on the trip…? (I feel this is clutching at straws!) What approach do others take on this one?
potential for adulteration or fraud: How is this determined? Is this a case of examining how tight a company’s quality management system is?
the brand identity of products, i.e. customer own brand or branded product: how does this affect risk?
Thanks for your thoughts!