Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

What to do when the last manufacturer identity is confidential?

Share this

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

Dorothy87

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 4 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom

Posted 29 September 2022 - 10:02 AM

Hi There, 

 

We are struggling with agents and brokers (approved by BRC Agents and brokers) to obtain the last manufacture details. They are saying that details are confidential and they unable to share any documents or names. 

 

I did ask about Supplier Questionnaire, but only what I received was a letter with info that the management decided to use this manufacture due to long historical trading.

 

We will score this ingredient as high in our risk assessment but what kind of corrective actions we should apply? shall we audit the agent and broker?, we will check packaging, we will ask for COA etc but I think is not good enough.. 

 

We had already a few cases when the last manufacturer is confidential, ideally we should change supplier but currently we are quite limited.. and we are on the way to re-design the risk assessment approval procedure.. 

 

Any ideas? 

 

Thank you !

 

 



pHruit

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 2,009 posts
  • 815 thanks
511
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Composing/listening to classical music, electronics, mountain biking, science, sarcasm

Posted 29 September 2022 - 10:25 AM

Unfortunately I don't think you have any flexibility here - clause 4.1.4 of the Issue 3 standard is pretty clear on knowing the identity of the last manufacturer.

 

You can try applying pressure via your purchasing department, although the "we'll take our business elsewhere" threat may be a bit empty if you have no other viable options.

 

I'd suggest you also discuss with these suppliers the possibility of putting in some sort of contractual agreement with these suppliers, whereby they agree that they will disclose the supplier and your business agrees that you will not approach the supplier directly.

This attitude amongst brokers used to be very common - they don't want their customers cutting them out of the supply chain and going direct to their manufacturer. It's very much on the decline in the UK and much of Europe, due to modern transparency and traceability requirements, but it does still persist in some places. If you can show them that giving you the info you need won't cost them lost sales then you stand a much better chance of getting them to help.

 

You could try auditing the agents/brokers, but that may not get you very far if they're still unwilling to show the records that identify the manufacturers whose names you need to know, so I'd discuss the scope of this in advance with them to make sure you're not wasting your time.

 

Otherwise I think that your only viable corrective action may be to locate alternative suppliers and de-list the unhelpful ones.



Thanked by 1 Member:

Dorothy87

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 4 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom

Posted 29 September 2022 - 11:06 AM

Thank you :)

 

We will post what have done in this matter, just for other Technical teams as I believe not only our factory is affected. 



Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,646 posts
  • 1107 thanks
392
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:World
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 22 November 2022 - 05:32 AM

Hi Dorothy,

 

I am assuming that you are a working for a food manufacturer.

 

If your agent/broker is certified to BRCGS Global Standard for Agents and Brokers Issue 3 then supplier approval and traceability has been covered by them but that doesn’t help you meet BRCGS Global Standard Food Safety Issue 9 requirements which are relevant here:

 

3.5.1.5 Where raw materials (including primary packaging) are purchased from companies that are not the manufacturer, packer or consolidator (e.g. purchased from an agent, broker or wholesaler), the site shall know the identity of the last manufacturer or packer, or for bulk commodity products the consolidation place of the raw material.

 

Information to enable the approval of the manufacturer, packer or consolidator, as in clauses 3.5.1.1 and 3.5.1.2, shall be obtained from the agent/broker or directly from the supplier, unless the agent/broker is themselves certificated to a BRCGS Standard (e.g. Global Standard Agents and Brokers) or a standard benchmarked by GFSI.

 

3.5.1.6 The company shall ensure that its suppliers of raw materials (including primary packaging) have an effective traceability system. Where a supplier has been approved based on a questionnaire instead of certification or audit, verification of the supplier’s traceability system shall be carried out on first approval and then at least every 3 years. This may be achieved by a traceability test.

Where the supplier is not the manufacturer, packer or consolidator of the raw material (e.g. purchased from an agent, broker or wholesaler) and approval is based on a questionnaire instead of certification or audit, the verification of the traceability system shall be carried out on the last manufacturer, packer or consolidator of the raw material.

Where a raw material is received directly from a farm or fish farm, further verification of the farm’s traceability system is not mandatory.

 

I agree with most of pHruit’s post but would also like to point out that the agent/broker is not in compliance with the requirements of BRCGS Global Standard for Agents and Brokers Issue 3:

3.4 Customer focus and communication

3.4.3 Where required by the customer, the company shall provide information to enable the last manufacturer or processor of the product to be approved. This shall include the identity of this manufacturer or processor.

 

Maybe you should point this out to the agent/broker and if they don’t respond appropriately take it up with BRCGS.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



Sam D

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 32 posts
  • 3 thanks
10
Good

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Travelling

Posted 22 November 2022 - 02:28 PM

Dorothy,

 

I have been facing the same issue with some of our suppliers, where the broker is sending us the manufacturer's SQF/BRC certificate but the site identity is blurred out.  We were even black listed by one of our distributors for repeatedly asking the manufacturers identity in the third party cert report.

 

 

While it does not work with most broker, we were able explain our SQF requirement to few of our brokers and they agreed to sign NDA and provide us required documents. I would suggest you to go this route and see if it works.

 

 All the best.



olenazh

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,167 posts
  • 369 thanks
361
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Toronto
  • Interests:My job, church, reading, gym, horror movies

Posted 22 November 2022 - 02:58 PM

In my experience, I've just had one supplier refusing to provide GFSI certification of the sunflower oil manufacturer situated in Ukraine - though, officially stating that the manufacturer was GFSI certified. Having lived and worked in Ukraine for most of my life and knowing the situation there, I didn't believe in that and pushed my company owners to refuse buying that product.



Scotty_SQF

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 143 posts
  • 36 thanks
52
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 November 2022 - 12:26 PM

Classic brokers trying to hide who they get stuff from so you don't go straight there and get it cheaper.  One of the reasons why I am not fond of brokers.  I get that they can provide knowledge, but 90% of them do not have any stock of the material they sell and then get it from a supplier.  By doing so they add an extra charge to the material to get paid, thus you are paying a higher cost.  That in turn leads to an increased cost in products.

 

If a broker refuses to get you the information, then I'd suggest finding a reputable supplier who is willing to provide the information to you and probably give you the material at a cheaper cost.



Thanked by 1 Member:


Share this

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users