Many companies currently employ a quality system in their role as a supplier to ensure that their products comport with the stipulated requirements: environmental requirements, quality requirements, animal protection requirements and so forth. The significance of purchasing in environmental practices is a component that may entail merging the quality system and environmental management system.
In the case of public procurement, suppliers can be required to have some form of quality assurance procedure in place that is relevant in relation to what is being procured. References are to be made to quality assurance systems that are based on European standards in the relevant field, and that are certified by a body that fulfils European certification standards. Certificates and other attestations of an equivalent nature must also be approved.
British Farm Standard
The British Farm Standard is a comprehensive standard for agricultural production that aims to guarantee food safety on British farms. There are different standards for beef, milk, grains and produce, depending on the focus of production. In recent years, some environmental and animal-care requirements have been added to the standard. The standards are conveyed to consumers in the form of a logo designated “The Little Red Tractor”, which represents controlled and safe production from farm to table.
BRC (British Retail Consortium)
The BRC is a standard that was originally developed for companies that manufacture goods for the British retail trade. Today, it is an international quality management system that aims to achieve safe food products and to serve the public interest. This technical standard is based on HACCP and includes requirements on production and product control, as well as traceability. The standard helps food producers implement systems that enable them to avoid product shortcomings and to fulfil established requirements.
Global GAP is a standard for the production of goods for the commerce and food industry. Work on the standard began in 1997 and currently encompasses rules for essentially all food production. Global GAP is a business-to-business concept that is not intended to communicate directly with consumers. The standard encompasses rules for the production of food at farms, but also for the transportation of animals and feed production. The aim is to provide support to a food production process that uses current technology and science to contribute to sustainable agriculture.
International Food Standard (IFS)
The IFS standard can be applied at all levels of the food production chain after agricultural production, and aims to monitor the quality of food products with generic brands. IFS is a quality system that is primarily used for the German and French markets. IFS currently comprises two different standards, IFS Food and IFS Logistics.
Quality management systems certified by ISO 9000 primarily aim to meet customers’ needs. It is an international management system that creates better faith in the suppliers’ products actually delivering on requirements and conditions that have been stipulated. The methodology that is used is called Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), which essentially entails that the organisation first plans and sets goals, implements measures to fulfil these goals, subsequently checks whether the measures have achieved their intended effect and finally sets new goals for further improvements.
Svenskt Sigill (Integrated Production)
Svenskt Sigill is a quality label for food and flowers that is openly communicated to customers. The certification guarantees that the products originate from controlled farms and gardens with requirements on high food safety, proper animal care and environmental responsibility. Compliance with the rules is monitored through regular audits by independent certification bodies.
The rules cover production at the farm and, to a certain extent, washing and packaging. The production rules entail a number of environmentally improving measures, including the adapting of nutrients to needs, limiting the use of chemical plant protection products and enhancing energy consumption efficiency. There are also rules ensuring food safety, including traceability, as well as a number of requirements governing the workplace environment. In many areas, the rules go beyond the requirements stipulated by Swedish legislation.
QS (Qualität und Sicherheit)
QS is a German quality assurance system for primary production and aims to guarantee food safety and to prevent food crises. It encompasses rules for beef and pork meat, chicken, feed, potatoes and produce, as well as slaughtering, butchering, processing, wholesaling and the retail food trade. The system primarily ensures compliance with legal requirements, but also goes one step further on the salmonella programme for pork and poultry, a list of approved feed suppliers and requirements on residue analyses for produce.