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Episode 7: Supplier Approval in GFSI

Episode 7: Supplier Approval in GFSI

Welcome back to the final video in the “Supplier Approval Program” Series. In this episode, we will discuss the supplier approval requirements in the major GFSI schemes including: SQF, BRCGS, FSSC 22000, and PrimusGFS.

Since all food safety programs must have basic controls over the safety of food or food packaging produced, each of the major GFSI schemes require the highest standards for supplier approval programs. In our other video series, we have seen some significant differences between schemes for Culture of Safety, Non-conformance and CAPA and traceability. For supplier approval, those differences are smaller, but there are still some meaningful differences.

This episode details the SQF requirements for supplier approval, including a description of the required training necessary for the SQF Practitioner and backup practitioner. We will also delve into required documents for the supplier approval elements of the SQF program. Testing requirements will be addressed in regards to supplier approval for SQF certification. We will also discuss the possibility of needing to visit a supplier’s facility for some suppliers designated as high risk.

With BRCGS, failure to have a completely considered policy, procedures and records for supplier approval may result in automatic failure of the BRCGS audit. The small differences between BRCGS and SQF for supplier approval is that BRCGS mandates that documents are updated regularly, at least every three years, and supplier onsite audits are expected.

As with all of the FSSC 22000 requirements for the other series we’ve done, the ISO requirements for supplier approval are determined by the facility. Since FSSC 22000 programs are based on the core pillar of communication, the supplier approval program should include risk levels based on the supplier’s ability and willingness to respond to requests via email and phone calls.

PrimusGFS is similar to what we’ve mentioned for SQF, BRCGS and FSSC 22000, but outdoor and indoor agricultural operations will generally have to spend more time and resources tracking down supplier information. Agricultural suppliers are often unable to supply the types of food safety documentation that food manufacturers and food packaging manufacturers can supply, so a higher risk for agricultural suppliers is often appropriate.

Please do not rely solely on our recommendations in this video, and make sure your program references and complies with the standards from the most current versions of the GFSI code your facility follows in preparation for your audit.

To learn more, visit the free food safety training videos & resources section of our website.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow us on LinkedIn to be notified of new educational food safety resources.

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