BRCGS Global Standard for Storage and Distribution – Issue 3
In 2006 the BRCGS introduced the Global Standard for Storage and Distribution to complement the suite of Global Standards covering the production of food, packaging and consumer products. This Standard allows the chain of product certification to be completed, from primary processor to manufacturer, and from manufacturer to retailer (or food service company in the case of food).
Issue 3 of this Standard has been developed by a multi-stakeholder group including retailers, food service companies, industry trade associations, independent experts and certification bodies, and builds upon the experience from the previous Standard. In revising the Standard, the BRCGS have attempted to develop the current requirements of the Standard to ensure that they are robust enough to meet the current industry needs. The standard has also been more aligned with the layout and protocol of other BRCGS standards.
This Standard is designed to reflect best practice and facilitate a process of continuous improvement through well-designed risk-based product safety management systems. The objective is to ensure that the quality and safety of products during their storage and distribution are maintained, and that customer confidence is upheld through audit and certification.
In many countries the storage and distribution of products, in particular food products, is controlled through legislation – for example, the EU General Food Law Regulations (2002) and the EU General Products Safety Directive (2005). This Standard is based on best practice and is not intended to replace the requirement of any legislation where this legislation requires a higher standard for a specific industry sector. In countries where the principles of due diligence apply, certification to the Standard may provide part of a due diligence defence.
Scope The BRCGS Global Standard for Storage and Distribution is divided into four modules which are applied, as applicable, to the scope of supply:
This will apply to:
Certification will apply to activities undertaken at the location where the evaluation has taken place, and can cover one or more modules of the standard. Certification against the wholesale module and the contracted services module cannot be gained in isolation – the requirements of the storage module must be satisfied in addition to the requirements specified within those modules.
The application of the Standard commences when the product enters:
a third-party storage premises, or
a third-party vehicle, or
a premises owned by the manufacturer that is not covered by the scope of another BRCGS Global Standard.
The Standard is NOT APPLICABLE to:
storage facilities under the direct control of a production site's management (such facilities may be included within the applicable manufacturing standards)
operations where any form of process is undertaken on open food products
operations where consumer product items that are not in themselves packaged for consumer sale are assembled to produce the final consumer product
Benefits Adoption, use and certification to the Standard provide a number of benefits in terms of the operation of the business, customers and marketing. These include:
It is an internationally recognised Standard which provides a report and certification that can be accepted by customers in place of their own audits – reducing time and cost.
The comprehensive scope, covering areas of quality, hygiene and product safety, provides a benchmark for best practice in storage and distribution industries.
When effectively adopted it can reduce damage, waste and, therefore, costs to the business.
It forms the basis for accredited audits providing greater credibility and recognition when certification is achieved.
Certificated sites may appear on the BRCGS public directory allowing recognition of their achievements and the use of a logo for marketing purposes.
It addresses part of the ‘due diligence’ requirements of both the certificated company and the customers using their service.
Ongoing surveillance and follow-up corrective actions after an audit help to ensure that a self-improving quality, hygiene and product safety system is established.