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Building a Supply-Chain Program - Coffee Roasting & Packing

fsvp coffee roasting supply chain fsma haccp supplier approval documentation

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#1 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 07:05 PM

Hello all, 

 

I am working on building a supplier approval/vetting program for a small-batch specialty coffee roaster. I have a feeling that this program can be generally simple seeing as coffee is a low-risk commodity. Because of this, what I do hope to get from our suppliers (both for ingredients & packaging) include the following: 

 

- 3rd party certificate & audit report (where one isn't provided, a questionnaire will be provided)

- Signed Letter of Guarantee from the vendor

- Specifications (covering food-grade suitability for packaging)

 

Of course, if an audit report was to be provided I am confident that my bases would be covered in the areas of food safety concern (IE; traceability, sanitation, allergens, etc;). However, from what I am reading in other threads I am learning that ingredient suppliers may not be prepared with this type of documentation. Is this still the case or have times changed? 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!



#2 kfromNE

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 07:15 PM

Hello all, 

 

I am working on building a supplier approval/vetting program for a small-batch specialty coffee roaster. I have a feeling that this program can be generally simple seeing as coffee is a low-risk commodity. Because of this, what I do hope to get from our suppliers (both for ingredients & packaging) include the following: 

 

- 3rd party certificate & audit report (where one isn't provided, a questionnaire will be provided)

- Signed Letter of Guarantee from the vendor

- Specifications (covering food-grade suitability for packaging)

 

Of course, if an audit report was to be provided I am confident that my bases would be covered in the areas of food safety concern (IE; traceability, sanitation, allergens, etc;). However, from what I am reading in other threads I am learning that ingredient suppliers may not be prepared with this type of documentation. Is this still the case or have times changed? 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

No, the times haven't changed yet - they can be difficult to get. The other issue - they may have them but not want to give you their full audit - we're facing this the most with the larger companies. With our last inspection, we learned from that and supplier verification - Appendix 1 - that's where you determine what hazards your ingredients have. The other piece - if you have the supplier controlling the hazard, have proof of this in the 3rd party audit.



#3 AC2018

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 07:20 PM

When I used to work for a coffee roaster I ran into many issue with approving our coffee suppliers the same way I approved our other food suppliers. This was because many of the coffee supplier we were purchasing from was from family farms located in third world countries. In this case, the raw green bean is treated for like a raw agricultural product (especially since you can not eat a raw coffee bean) it will be roasted and there you will be controlling all of the hazards. So if you haven't noticed this already, be prepared to work with the coffee supplier. They most likely will not have any food safety programs in place so ask for a letter of guarantee or any other government documents to shows it's a legitimate supplier then like I said earlier, you can put in place your own programs to control the hazards that the supplier is not covering. 

 

Hope this helps!! 


Edited by AC2018, 16 December 2019 - 07:21 PM.


#4 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 08:30 PM

No, the times haven't changed yet - they can be difficult to get. The other issue - they may have them but not want to give you their full audit - we're facing this the most with the larger companies. With our last inspection, we learned from that and supplier verification - Appendix 1 - that's where you determine what hazards your ingredients have. The other piece - if you have the supplier controlling the hazard, have proof of this in the 3rd party audit.

 

kfromNE - thank you for the information. It's discouraging to hear that a company may not be open to sharing their full audit report considering this will help with identifying particular risks however, I do understand why they may feel this way. I will issue a questionnaire in place of the audit report. As far as I know, our company expects to mitigate the hazards through our own measures (IE; physical hazards such as metal through metal detection and other foreign hazards with cleaning equipment such as optical sorters and scalping/sifting). 



#5 SQFconsultant

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 08:46 PM

We are currently in the process of vetting 180 suppliers for one of our clients --

 

This is the standard list of documents we require from each one:

 

1.      Specifications for all products shipped to XXX

2.      Summary of the Food Safety protocols the company has put into place.

3.      Copy of your most recent GFSI (SQF, BRC, IFS, GlobalGap, FSSC 22000, etc.) certificate or a full copy of your most recent 3rd party food safety audit (this does not include regulatory audits or local board of health reports.)

4.      FDA Bio #, Non-GMO Declaration, Organic Certificate, Kosher Certificate (as applicable)

5.      In the event your company lacks a GFSI certificate or 3rd party audit XXX may at it’s option conduct a full FSMS/HACCP review/audit on your documentation and facility or commission an outside consultant or auditor to do so.

 

We are vetting a lot of different suppliers, some big (in which case we have full compliance), some mid-size (compliance is pretty much 50/50) and a bunch of really small one and two person operations that harvest and pack lobsters, clams, oysters, crab, fish, etc. - for these we have next to no responses and if they do send anything it's almost always all wrong.

 

An additional requirement for importers (such as brokers) is that we need verification/documentation that their foreign suppliers are USFDA FSVP.... and of course we are finding very small compliance in this area - so much so that we ourselves decided to ad FSVP consulting services to our offerings.

 

We'll get there, maybe with some kicking and screaming, but we'll get there.


Warm regards,

 

 

Glenn Oster

 

 

Glenn Oster Consulting, LLC / 800.793.7042 / USA - Canada - Caribbean

SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Food & Food Storage/Logistics // eConsultant // Internal Auditor Training

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com

 

 

 
 
 

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#6 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 08:46 PM

When I used to work for a coffee roaster I ran into many issue with approving our coffee suppliers the same way I approved our other food suppliers. This was because many of the coffee supplier we were purchasing from was from family farms located in third world countries. In this case, the raw green bean is treated for like a raw agricultural product (especially since you can not eat a raw coffee bean) it will be roasted and there you will be controlling all of the hazards. So if you haven't noticed this already, be prepared to work with the coffee supplier. They most likely will not have any food safety programs in place so ask for a letter of guarantee or any other government documents to shows it's a legitimate supplier then like I said earlier, you can put in place your own programs to control the hazards that the supplier is not covering. 

 

Hope this helps!! 

 

Thank you for the info AC2018 - this is SO very helpful! Our company sources coffee from brokers who carry much of the weight when it comes to tracing product down to the farmers/suppliers. Based on my previous experience, as long as the broker can prove that they have this traceability/visibility into the supply chain then our company is in the clear. I've seen this done through third-party certification where the company is audited to those standards. Fortunately, I've already had one broker confirm that, if an issue were to arise they would be able to trace down to the farmer. We'll see if the others can do the same. 

 

Nonetheless, I absolutely agree with everything you've said about the hazards being controlled through roasting (we also plan to incorporate equipment to control/remove physical hazards). Overall, I think that the documents I listed above should be sufficient for supplier approval and, pairing this with our in-house controls - we should be in good shape.

 

If you have any other advice for me to navigate the food safety world and expectations related to specialty coffee roasting I would very much appreciate it! 



#7 AC2018

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 12:15 PM

Thank you for the info AC2018 - this is SO very helpful! Our company sources coffee from brokers who carry much of the weight when it comes to tracing product down to the farmers/suppliers. Based on my previous experience, as long as the broker can prove that they have this traceability/visibility into the supply chain then our company is in the clear. I've seen this done through third-party certification where the company is audited to those standards. Fortunately, I've already had one broker confirm that, if an issue were to arise they would be able to trace down to the farmer. We'll see if the others can do the same. 

 

Nonetheless, I absolutely agree with everything you've said about the hazards being controlled through roasting (we also plan to incorporate equipment to control/remove physical hazards). Overall, I think that the documents I listed above should be sufficient for supplier approval and, pairing this with our in-house controls - we should be in good shape.

 

If you have any other advice for me to navigate the food safety world and expectations related to specialty coffee roasting I would very much appreciate it! 

Agreed and I think you are on the right path. Some kind of third party or government documentation, letter of guarantee, and specs are probably all you will get for coffee which is fine. Just make sure in your program you don't back your self into a corner saying X, Y, and Z are required from all suppliers, always add in a side note that if it can not be provided you will do or require 'blank' in place of it to approve them.

 

Most brokers have their stuff together which is very helpful and they will try to get you whatever it is you need. 

 

Will do and I love that we have this platform to help each other out! 



#8 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:04 AM

Agreed and I think you are on the right path. Some kind of third party or government documentation, letter of guarantee, and specs are probably all you will get for coffee which is fine. Just make sure in your program you don't back your self into a corner saying X, Y, and Z are required from all suppliers, always add in a side note that if it can not be provided you will do or require 'blank' in place of it to approve them.

 

Most brokers have their stuff together which is very helpful and they will try to get you whatever it is you need. 

 

Will do and I love that we have this platform to help each other out! 

 

Thank you for the assistance!  :spoton:







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