Introduced in 2016, the BRC Global Standard for Retail provides essential certification for organisations that retail food products, as well as hard lines. The BRC Global Standard covers the activity of retailing, as well as commissary, sourcing and in-store production.
Retailers are the last step in the food supply chain prior to the consumer and play a critical role in managing the supply chain, as well as the delivery of goods and services to the consumer.
This BRC Global Standard is, therefore, designed to promote best practice on product safety, quality and the operational criteria required to fulfil obligations with regard to legal compliance and consumer protection.
The BRC Global Standard for Retail has been developed to provide a framework for businesses to manage the safety, quality and legality of products and services offered in the retail setting.
Therefore, the Standard is aimed at:
• organisations that retail food products;
• the sourcing and supplier approval programme; and
• in-store preparation and processing.
The BRC Global Standard is divided into seven sections:
1. SENIOR MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT AND CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT
Consistent product safety is the responsibility of everyone within the company. The starting point for an effective product safety plan is the commitment of senior management to the implementation of the BRC Global Standard and continual development. This includes providing adequate resources, effective communication, systems for review, actions taken and opportunities for improvement.
2. THE FOOD SAFETY PLAN
The BRC Global Standard requires the development of a product safety plan covering the products, activities and services that the company manages or specifies. This is based on the principles of hazard and risk analysis (commonly known as HACCP in the food industry) and must be documented, comprehensive, fully implemented and maintained.
3. PRODUCT SAFETY AND QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Sets out the requirements for the management of product safety and quality, building on the principles of ISO 9000. This includes requirements for document control, internal auditing, control of non-conforming product and the management of incidents and product recalls.
4. FACILITY AND OPERATIONAL STANDARDS
The BRC Global Standard sets out expectations for the physical structure, its design, layout and maintenance. Basic prerequisite programs for ensuring the physical components support the delivery of safe products and services.
5. PRODUCT CONTROLS
The management of products, within the retail setting, needs to be overseen and controlled to ensure they add to the safety and quality of the products, and result in the delivery of products that meet customer and regulatory expectations.
6. PROCESS CONTROLS
The activities typical within retail organisations, are best delivered through a structured, rigorous methodology that brings consistency to the services and products customers seek. This section includes several organisation optional requirements, including assessment of controls on age restricted sales, pricing accuracy, and management of levels of food wastage.
Staff within a retail organisation are the face presented to the customer, and represent the brand. Training and overseeing staff are key to maintaining the brand profile in a retail setting, and become a core opportunity to stand out within the market.