Certification systems and food standards

Quality assurance in the food production process is an important element in preventing problems from arising.

Requirements on food producers to deliver reliable goods at a consistently high quality, produced with respect for the environment and the well-being of the animals is becoming increasingly important.

A certification can manage the production requirements that are stipulated by the authorities, the market and other stakeholders. This can also be used as a resource for food companies to ensure that their products fulfil the requirements imposed by various entities.

Many food companies adhere to comprehensive sustainable development practices through independent environmental and quality programmes, but without being certified for various reasons.

However, the basic principles for public procurement, predominantly principles concerning equal treatment and non-discrimination, essentially assume that a system is in place to control and verify various requirements.

Various types of certification

Most standards and certifications cover quality, safety, and/or environmental aspects. In addition, there are also standards that observe social factors, such as the workplace environment and sustainable development. To a certain degree, the National Agency for Public Procurement’s food criteria offers references to such systems, for example, in its criteria document for coffee, tea and cacao production.

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