For section 2.5 - does anyone have sample product flow charts from the purchase of product to acceptance of product by the customer?
- Do you have to create multiple product flow charts for product being produced from various countries? Even though the product flow/procedures is the same?
Can't share our flow charts (sorry), but we've taken a modular approach to this, so as to be able to cover the whole supply chain without ending up with 32435476 nearly identical but slightly different flow diagrams and corresponding hazard analysis requirements etc.
For example, consider how many unique steps are present, and how unique these actually are. E.g. is the customs import process the same when you're bringing in product from all of the origin countries, or are there different inspection/paperwork requirements?
You can then build up an overall flow diagram with little "modules", each of which has it's own mini diagram (e.g. for warehousing the process is broadly identical at each warehouse etc in our case).
We source globally and have never been challenged at all on this, and it has been audited for BRC every year since the first version of Agents & Brokers launched, as well as by numerous customers. The key thing to ensure is that you can justify your approach and demonstrate that it really does describe your supply chain, and that you can thus legitimately use these as the basis to assess the risks.
For section 2.6 - What tools can be used to determine if your hazard identification is accurate for each step of the process flow? What is an auditor looking for?
Experience, and practice, and input from people with different ideas and experiences ideally!
Auditors will be looking to make sure that the hazard analysis is comprehensive and covers all of the requirements of the standard in this section. It's a bit of a peculiar one as some of these are quite different to normal HACCP (check the BRC Participate forum for the Agents & Brokers standard as there was a discussion of an example there).
You might well miss things from your first attempt. We got a minor non-conformance on this section the first time we did Agents & Brokers from just that - despite having been HACCP team leader in manufacturing operations for nearly a decade, and having a HACCP team with comfortably over 100 years combined experience across multiple areas, we still got caught out as in addition to normal "food safety" hazards that you expect in HACCP, there are some slightly more odd ones relating to e.g. import paperwork, product quality etc.
My advice here is to get your HACCP team together, and if you don't already have a good spread of responsibilities/experiences in the team then bring in someone from operations, someone from transport, someone from purchasing. Put your flow diagram together, detailing every "step" (n.b. steps aren't necessarily physical things happening - this could be a paperwork check at a customs border), and then try to list everything that could go wrong at that point - these might be food safety or quality related. Lots of different experience helps here, as it means it will be more likely that people have seen a wider number of problems