It is not MY exporter who is required to meet the requirements of the ECCP in order to qualify for their ECCP. So, I am, as the custom manufacturer on the hook should my client decide they want to export. In effect, it is my traceability
, it is MY recall, it is my PRP, my PCP, my process, my formula, my allergen control etc. Trust, though, we will be passing these costs on to our clients as incurred, it's THEIR product. Also, as the CFIA so kindly pointed out, years ago, if I make anything at the top level, EVERYTHING we make, (170+ SKUs) even if they only sell at the local farmer's market, has to be at the top level, hence the choice of FSSC 22000 as our corporate Standard. The point of attempting to benchmark that is akin to the idea of covering all of my bases. Benchmark the highest standard and all lesser standards can be certified.
As for my chef, I am meeting all of my FS requirements, we created a "simplified traveller" which we keep adding fill in the blank lines to. He just grumbles and gripes, and then our operations' staff fills in the blanks and rag on him to do it until he finally gets on and does it. It took me WEEKS just to get two signatures on our shipping documents. Shoot me now.
We're considering creating, in essence, a video game/app sort of thing that will serve to collect my food safety datum. :) Pay them bonuses when they nail it all.
A and B... Good questions on the paperwork! We have completed all our traceability
and recall documents, and our second mock recall is planned for the coming couple of weeks. I'm expecting a grand total of about 600 mock people to die because, I already know, that NONE of my clients have any such thing on their side, and if they did, that's the size of the batch recall. We batch label EVERY pot, because we can. Most manufaturers don't even know they need a MYCFIA account. Mine was opened and has been pending since last May. I also paid my manufacturer's license fee on the 17th, which includes our export and import activities.
As for my remaining FSSC policy documents, I believe at this point that a "food" expert, in my case, might be a hindrance. Our Food Safety Plan was the EASY part. We simply followed the templates that MAPAQ and the CFIA have given us over the years. Because we are so small, we operate from cash flow, so we had to identify our risks first, eliminate those, and then implement the requirements for the standard based on that as the primary principle. So, our employee manual
, education and training is done as well. I am lucky that I am a geek and MAPAQ is very proactive with people who are serious about food safety, so we're amazingly head and shoulders beyond most in our position. We at least knew this was coming, so the food safety is in place and documented as manufactured, (2 final issues being completed this week), I am very proud of that.
What we require now is whittling all the written documentation required to get certified into personalized documents as the bigger documents are still based on generic templates. That is where we are. Hiring a standards specialist was a good compromise for us, because she already knows and understands standards and is effective in helping us follow the KISS principle with the personalizing of the plan. We really need to work with our employees in order to make this work. I do not have ease of turnover of employees, here. We need the plan to be as simplified as possible so that we can create and implement the processes for any new clients on-boarded as well and ensure all the data is documented. It is our goal to have the details in place so that we can become a multi-category manufacturer, we didn't start doing this because we thought we would have to, we started this because we knew it was the only way to do meat. Also, our target customers have revenues of 100K - 2MM, so, given an average 3-5 products per customer, simplicity becomes our best friend, we have so many formulas to work the various "HACCP
" plans for, now, and because we need the ability to create and maintain those as our value as a custom small-batch manufacturer. (Chef not liking paperwork aside). Anyway the HACCP
rules are all benchmarked for inspection purposes, they are just not certifiable to the standard. Our formulas are all done, and ready to file, the processes are ready for any country who wants them. Now we just need the novels written to be certifiable. And someone with excellence in standard writing was a Godsend. The fun part is that once the overalls are done, we only ever have to hire the food specialist back for the food safety part of any new products or new equipment. Easy peasy? I expect at one point we will have someone on staff full time for that.
I should thank you (and any other members reading this) for their activity here. As a small manufacturer in the middle of nowhere, THIS is the ONLY place anyone actually talks about food safety, most of my colleagues in food around here, aren't aware of this stuff. One colleague similar size to mine, different product class but 4 times my size hasn't even implemented an ERP yet. We're big fish in an otherwise teeny tiny pond, here, but we literally are the only two food manufacturers in the county who are aware this is even a thing.
Sorry for the novel.
My biggest task right now, aside from figuring out how many different plans I need to write for each customer, (hence the original question) this week, is finding and installing 2 door self-closers and a foot bath. Any recommendations?