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Tested in accordance with the new BRC Packaging Standard, and keeping the AA Grade
AFP has and is keeping the BRC Packaging certificate’s AA Grade for packaging materials. Quite an accomplishment, because the standard was recently changed, Mirjam Bouwmeester explains.
Producers of foods do everything they can to make their products as safe as possible for the purpose of protecting consumer health. This means that not only the food must comply with strict requirements, the packaging material used to package the product must also be safe.
As a producer of packaging materials for various industries, including the food industry, AFP has been granted the BRC Packaging certificate among certificates. The BRC Packaging standard sets out the requirements for safeguarding product food safety. AFP recently once again managed to earn the AA Grade, the highest achievable score of this independent external audit. Quite an accomplishment, says Mirjam Bouwmeester, Senior Compliance Specialist at AFP. “All the more so, because AFP was tested in accordance with the newest version of the standard, version 6.”
“As a company you are not only legally obliged to protect the consumer. AFP wants to be able to say with certainty that products are produced with food safety as the main criterion so that no one will become sick over the short or long term from one of the products produced by AFP,” explains Bouwmeester.
Many AFP customers operate in the food industry. The AA Grade certification offers these customers assurance that AFP produces its packaging safely, the right way and at a high level of quality, says Bouwmeester. “This way AFP helps its customers comply with statutory requirements relating to product safety. Furthermore, the AA Grade certification can save the customer time, because the customer does not have to perform as many audits of AFP. On the basis of the certificate, the customer knows that continuity is assured.”
BRC Packaging and ISO 9001
For that matter, AFP goes a step beyond this: aside from the BRC Packaging certificate, AFP is also ISO 9001-certified. While the BRC Packaging standard is concerned with food safety requirements, the ISO 9001 standard is concerned with the product’s quality.
“The ISO 9001, as well as the BRC Packaging standard are risk-based standards. With its certification, AFP focuses on the potential risks. In actual practice this means that insight is acquired into the risks associated with all processes by applying the Hazard and Risk Analysis (HARA) methodology. Where possible, risks are eliminated. When this is not possible, the risks are reduced to an acceptable level, and the necessary mitigation measures are established and implemented within the organisation.”
But that’s not all: “In addition to the risk management and product safety requirements, there are other requirements as well, such as quality management, personal hygiene, internal facilities, training, waste reduction, food defence and food fraud.”
Certification means Assuming Responsibility
Both certificates require detailed attention and entail responsibilities. Ultimately it’s not about the certificate, but about the actual substantive management system. “This system must be fully integrated into the organisation. A practical and specific implementation is required; it must be possible to seamlessly align the system with the internal processes.”
So that you can say with certainty that your product is produced with the guarantee of food safety in mind. Because ultimately this is what it’s all about: protecting the consumer.
Also read the blog Blind Trust by Mirjam