Food Manufacturer and Distributors

Food Manufacturers and Distributors

What Standard Do I Need?

At QMS Audits, we know the key to working out what type of food standard you require to certify your business. You may only need HACCP Certification or you may have to opt for a bigger more demanding GFSI standard, such as SQF or BRC.

Naturally you will have to maintain your requirements with the local council, NSW Food Authority or Primesafe or other regulatory body. Your customers will also have a series of requirements for your business as well – often these requirements are a condition of a new contract or tender.

HACCP Certification

If you are a manufacturer suppling into the food service and quick service restaurant industry (QSR), then you will may only need HACCP certification. QMS Audits can assist you to do the training, write up HACCP Plan and document your prerequisite programs into a quality manual. Depending on who you are supplying into, we may even be able conduct your HACCP audit. Click here to see the QMS Audits HACCP Audit Certification Page.

If you are supplying into larger manufacturers, then you need to ask them what their requirements are. Some customers only require HACCP, others will require you to comply with their own proprietary standards or they may ask you for SQF, BRC, ISO 22000/FSSC 22000 or another GFSI based standard.

For manufacturers supplying customer branded or private label product into one of the major supermarket brands, then you will need to be certified to a GFSI based standard, such as SQF, BRC or ISO 22000.

Initial GFSI Certification – SQF, BRC and ISO 22000

At QMS Audits, we have written up many taken many small to medium businesses through the process of getting GFSI certification, whether it be for SQF, BRC, ISO 22000 or another standard. We can usually do this within about an 8 -12 week period, sometimes less.

For all of our HACCP Plans, Quality Manuals and prerequisite programs we supply an electronic copy of the document, as well as two folders which will assist with managing records on the day of the audit.

Our focus is not just on getting your business through the audit with a high score, it is also about ensuring you understand the requirements of HACCP and the quality program. QMS Audits will teach you how to manage your production records. Together, we can conduct an internal audit, so you feel prepared for the audit. It helps you to achieve a high score at the audit – last year our SQF scores averaged above 97%.

Many of our clients ask QMS Audits to attend the audit to offer moral support, help them to explain processes to the auditor or keep the auditor on the straight and narrow. If there are any non-conformances, then we can work to address to them straight away during the audit.

At QMS Audits, we have detailed the process taken to achieve GFSI certification here – SQF and BRC. For more information regarding ISO 22000, please give us a call.

Internal Audits and Site Inspections

If you have written up or maintained an SQF, BRC or ISO 22000 or other GFSI standard without the use of a consultant, it may pay to have QMS Audits conduct an internal audit. We can assist you to find the gaps, explain what the auditor is looking for and then help you meet the requirements. We teach and explain as we go – we can’t help ourselves.

If you are considering undergoing GFSI certification, but not sure if your facility will meet the requirements without spending a million dollars, then we can come out and conduct an internal audit just on the facility. Its a good way to start the GFSI certification process, without having to commit fully to the process.

If you are about to move into a new facility or upgrading an existing one, riding the wave of rapid growth and know you will be taking your business through the SQF or BRC process in the next two years, this might be a good form of due diligence.

Non-Conformances

Occasionally, we receive calls from food businesses who have gone to audit and received a series of non-conformances for whatever reason – often because the business did not have the time or knowledge to prepare properly for the audit. Sometimes it is because the previous quality manager or operations manager has recently left.

Regardless of the reason, we can assist you to close out the non-conformances. We will explain what the auditor is looking for and what needs to be done. We will help you to put together new procedures or update existing ones. We will then send the responses to the auditor for sign off. In most cases, they are accepted and closed out very quickly.

Tidy Up, Rewrite and Streamline

For some clients, they are working with outdated and cumbersome quality management systems. Sometimes quality management systems get bloated, attract unnecessary paperwork and procedures and extra unnecessary documents.

One of our QMS Audits consultants are able to come in a tidy up what is already there – carry across the things you like about the existing quality manual and then usually our own templates, customise an SQF and BRC or other GFSI program very quickly.

At QMS Audits we have developed a series of streamlined templates that our consultants use. It saves you time and reduces the cost of consulting. But best of all you know, the system has gone to audit several times previously and it has been written purposely for small to medium sized businesses.

Last year, we were fascinated to see our fully documented BRC quality manual actually had less pages in it than the clients previous HACCP Plan and quality manual.

Our QMS Audits consultants are regularly complimented by auditors who tell us, our system has just enough in it to be compliant. Our clients always nod their approval at that comment, as they need a streamlined quality management system that will get them high scores at audit but are easy to manage and maintain. Nothing more and nothing less.

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