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May 2014

Global Food Safety Initiative

CEOs of global companies came together at The Consumer Goods Forum (CIES at the time) and agreed that consumer trust needed to be strengthened and maintained through a safer supply chain. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was launched as a non-profit making foundation in 2000, to achieve this through the harmonization of food safety standards that would drive reduce audit duplication throughout the supply chain by developing a model that determines equivalency between existing food safety schemes, whilst leaving flexibility and choice in the marketplace.

Today, The Global Food Safety Initiative collaborates with international food safety experts from the entire food supply chain at Technical Working Group and Stakeholder meetings, conferences and regional events to share knowledge and promote a harmonized approach to managing food safety across the industry. GFSI is managed by an industry-driven GFSI Board of Directors and supported by The Consumer Goods Forum Board of Directors, with particular support from Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO, Kraft Foods and Bill McEwan, President & CEO, Sobeys Inc.

The Global Food Safety Initiative  endorses food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification by certain international organizations through the SQF Program. The SQF Program is administered by the SQF Institute (SQFI), a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and is the result of more than 15 years of development. The certification program includes two standards – SQF 1000 and SQF 2000.

SQF 1000 or “Safe Quality Food” is universally recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world who require a rigorous, credible food safety management system. Using the SQF 1000 certification program reduces assessment inconsistencies and costs of multiple assessment standards.

Being compliant with SQF demonstrates the supplier’s commitment to:

  • Produce safe and quality food
  • Comply with the requirements of the SQF code
  • Comply with applicable food legislation

The SQF 2000 Code is a (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) HACCP-based food safety and quality management program designed primarily for the food processing and food manufacturing sector. The SQF 2000 Code is divided into three certification levels. Each level indicates the stage of development of a Supplier’s food safety and quality management system.

  • Level 1 Food Safety Fundamentals
  • Level 2 Certified HACCP Food Safety Plans
  • Level 3 Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System

SQF certification is supported and in many cases mandated by an increasing number of international retailers and foodservice providers, and the SQF Program is part of a landmark agreement among seven global retailers on mutual acceptance of global food safety systems.

More Updates on ISO 9001:2015

The working draft is not yet complete. Once all of the comments receive are dispositioned, the Draft International Standard (DIS) will be released. This is expected in June or July of this year. Comments from the public will be requested in order to finalize the standard.
Several new requirements are currently in the draft, including

  1. “Products and Services” will replace “Products”.
  2. While the concept of exclusions will still apply, though the term “exclusions” will not be used.
  3. The terms “document” and “records” are being replaced by a single term “documented information”. Control for documented information will be the same as the 2008 standard.
  4. An expanded planning section will be titled “Context of the Organization” and will require companies to consider the needs of all interested parties in the design of the QMS.
  5. Much more emphasis will be placed on requirements for managing the organizations processes using the process approach and will require process owners, process inputs, process outputs and process measures.
  6. While the title of “management representative” will be dropped, the requirement for top management to appoint one or more individuals to be responsible for monitoring and reporting on the QMS will still be included.
  7. Formal “preventive action” process will be dropped, and be replace with the addition of “risk based thinking” in the planning of the QMS and new product design and development.

The intention is still to release the FDIS (final draft international standard) early next year and the published standard by the end of the year.
Regarding the Transition Period –

  1. While the transition period is expected to be 3-years, final approval on that has not been completed. That said, companies can simply transition to the new standard during their normal re-certification audit.
  2. Certification Bodies (CBs, or registrars) may start their training next year, after the FDIS is released. Because of the huge changes to the standard, the details around “what is expected by a 3rd-party auditor will take some time. Starting in 2016, CBs may start auditing to the new standard, but a lot of details will be being worked out during this first year, so there will likely be inconsistencies in these audits as everyone gets used to the new standard.
  3. Because of the big changes, most experts advise that companies retain their ISO 9001:2015 Consultants before the end of next year, thus avoiding the expected turmoil during audits to the new standard in 2016.

That’s all for now, more when information becomes available.

More Updates on ISO 14001:2015

As the release of the new Version of ISO 14001 nears, impacted organizations should start preparing themselves for the important changes that will be required. As it has been 10 years since the current Version of ISO 14001:2004 was released, it is apparent that with new release of the second Committee Draft (CD2) will bring significant changes.

As mentioned in the past, development of the new version began in early 2012 and is expected to be officially released in January 2015.

As with any new version of a standard, organizations currently certified to ISO 14001:2004 will be granted a transition period to allow for upgrade to the new standard. Quality Resource Center will release a transition guideline to all certified clients after publication of the standard.

To help organizations become familiar with the proposed upcoming changes, some of the key changes have been identified below.

The Scope shall not exclude activities, products and services within the organization’s control or influence that can have significant environmental aspects (see 6.1.4).

Structural Changes

Key Changes in Requirements

  1. Scope
  2. Normative References
  3. Terms and Definitions
  4. Context of the Organization
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance Evaluation
  10. Improvement

Additional language will require –

  • Determinations regarding how the organization will integrate its environmental management system requirements into its business processes.
  • Requiring Top Management demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the environmental management system
  • Organizations determine significant environmental aspects and organizational risks and opportunities by assuring the environmental management system can achieve its intended outcome(s), preventing, reducing, or eliminating undesired effects, satisfying its compliance obligations, and achieving continual improvement.
  • Actions to address significant environmental aspects, compliance obligations and organizational risks and opportunities shall be managed within the environmental management system. This must include consideration of environmental objectives and planning to achieve them (6.2.2), operational planning and control (8.1), value chain control (8.2), emergency preparedness and response (8.3), and monitoring and measurement (9.1).
  • Determinations regarding how the processes associated with its operation that are related to its significant environmental aspects and organizational risks and opportunities will be controlled or influenced, taking into account life cycle perspective.

That’s it for now….more when information becomes available.