Food & Beverage Product Standards

ISO 9000

The ISO 9000 family of standards is related to quality management systems and designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to the product. The standards are published by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and available through National standards bodies. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the eight management principles on which the family of standards is based.

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ISO 14000

ISO 14000 is a standard related to environmental management that exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes etc.) negatively affect the environment (i.e. cause adverse changes to air, water, or land); (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and (c) continually improve in the above. The requirements of ISO 14000 are an integral part of the European Union‘s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). EMAS‘s structure and material requirements are more demanding, foremost concerning performance improvement, legal compliance and reporting duties.

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ISO 22000-International Standard for Food & Safety

Food safety is linked to the presence of food-borne hazards in food at the point of consumption. Since food safety hazards can occur at any stage in the food chain it is essential that adequate control be in place. Therefore, a combined effort of all parties through the food chain is required.

The ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves the following elements:

  • Interactive communication
  • System management
  • Prerequisite programs
  • HACCP principles

Critical reviews of the above elements have been conducted by many scientists . Communication along the food chain is essential to ensure that all relevant food safety hazards are identified and adequately controlled at each step within the food chain. This implies communication between organizations both upstream and downstream in the food chain. Communication with customers and supplies about identified hazards and control measures will assist in clarifying customer and supplier requirements.

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HACCP

Hazard analysis and critical control points, or HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and pharmaceutical safety that identifies physical, allergenic, chemical, and biological hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level. In this manner, HACCP is referred as the prevention of hazards rather than finished product inspection. The HACCP system can be used at all stages of a food chain, from food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc.

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WHO Food standards- Codex Alimentarius

The C O D E X A L I M E N T A R I U S international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of this international food trade. Consumers can trust the safety and quality of the food products they buy and importers can trust that the food they ordered will be in accordance with their specifications.

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ISO 26000

If you are an exporter of products or services to the EU, you have to take into account that you can be requested to meet certain social responsibility requirements. ISO 26000 is a framework of guidelines that can help you to map out and address sustainability issues regarding your organisation. Although ISO 26000 is not certifiable, references to the guidelines in various ways are increasingly common.

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Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform

SAI Platform is a food industry initiative aimed at contributing to the development of sustainable agriculture worldwide. Its activities are open to stakeholders of the food chain, including farmers whose involvement is crucial to the successful design and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.

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Safe Quality Food Program – SQF

SQFI is the leader in providing the most globally recognized and trusted food safety and quality certification program. We are committed to maintain trust; provide leadership, management oversight, ingenuity and a process of continual improvement while working in partnership with other globally recognized food safety organizations. We will strive for effectively managing and maintaining a standard and program that is based on sound scientific principals, transparent, consistently applied and valued in part by a strong attention to customer service, by all stakeholders.

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Rainforest Alliance – SAN

The vision of SAN is based on the concept of sustainability, recognizing that the well-being of societies and ecosystems is intertwined and dependent on development that is environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable.

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EU Food Legislation

  • General food Law-Regulation (EC) No.178/2002
  • Food Hygiene & Food controls –Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004.
  • Microbiological criteria for food stuff –Regulation (EC) 2073/2005
  • Food contact material- Regulation (EC) No.1935/2004
  • Food contaminants- Regulation No.315/93/EEC. No( EC) 406/2001, No. (EC) 401/2006
  • Plant Protection Products (PPPs) & pesticide residues- Regulation No. (EC) 396/2005
  • Flavorings- Regulation No. 2232/ 96/EC
  • GM Food & Feed – Regulation ( EC) No. 1829/2003
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EU Directives

  • Harmful organisms including phytosanitary certificate- Directive 200/29/EC
  • Packaging – Directive 94/62/EC
  • Food irradiation-Directive 1999/2/EC, Directive 1999/3/EC
  • Food Supplements- Directive 2002/46/EC
  • Food Additives- Directive 89/07/EEC
  • Labeling presentation & Advertising of food stuff-Directives 200/13/EC, 90/496/EC
  • Quick –Frozen Food –Directive 89/108/EEC
  • Fruit Juices & similar products –Directive 2001/112/EC
  • Fruit jam, jelly, marmalade –Directive 2001/1113/EC
  • Honey –Directive -2001/110/EC
  • Edible oils & Fats- Directive 76/621/EC
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PrimusGFS

PrimusGFS is focused on Food Safety of those products of the Agricultural sector designated to human consumption in their fresh or minimum processed way. PrimusGFS establishes a series of requirements for the managing of the production, handling, processing and storing operations.

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GLOBALG.A.P.

GLOBALG.A.P. is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of production processes of agricultural (including aquaculture) products around the globe. The GLOBALG.A.P. standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimising detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare.

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Global Red Meat Standard

Global Red Meet Standard is an accredited and independently audited scheme that was launched in 2006 by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council in collaboration with the Danish Meat Research with the objective to promote certified standards notably tailored to the meat industry. More specifically GRMS is an EN45011 (European Standard for Product Certification) that develops requirements focusing on the slaughtering, deboning, cutting and selling of red meat including pork and beef only. GRMS are contemplated to assess meat companies’ activities and procedures by an independent certified body.

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Food Alliance

Food Alliance is a scientific and educational organization which promotes the development of sustainable agriculture for the public benefit. The Food Alliance works to develop better stewardship of natural and human resources and to promote sustainable economic development opportunities in rural communities.

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BRC Global Standards – Food

The BRC global standards is a private, for profit, membership-based association. It represents the whole range of retailers for the UK retail industry, from the large department stores through to independents. Over the past thirteen years, BRC has developed the BRC global standards, a suite of four industry-leading Technical Standards that specify production, packaging, storage and distribution requirements to guarantee safe food and consumer products.

  • Global standards for Food Safety
  • Global standard for Consumer Products
  • Global standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials
  • Global standard for Storage and Distribution

Originally developed in response to the needs of UK members of the British Retail Consortium, the standards have gained usage world-wide and are specified by retailers and branded manufacturers in the EU, North America and elsewhere.

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Bio Suisse

As the body which represents the interests of Swiss organic farmers and awards the label, Bio Suisse has a demanding dual role, which strongly shapes the Association's activities. Communication within the Association is therefore very important. The Bio Suisse standards differ from minimum governmental regulations (e.g. those of the EU) in several important respects. Especially noteworthy are: The whole-farm approach, the establishment of areas dedicated to the enhancement of biodiversity, and rigorous limits on the intensity of fertilization and on the use of copper.

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Fair Trade Label

Fairtrade International is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that promotes sustainable development and poverty alleviation and sets the Fairtrade standards. Nineteen national organizations, called Fairtrade Labeling Initiatives, market the Fairtrade products in 23 countries in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand. One organization - FLO-CERT - is responsible for auditing and certification of compliance against the Fairtrade standards.

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ILO Fundamental Labour Standards

Social issues have become increasingly important in international trade. Critical stakeholders in the EU, such as consumers, NGOs and the media, forced EU governments and the EU private sector to develop and implement strategies promoting the improvement of working conditions. As a result: a) many countries supplying to the EU ratified most of the ILO Conventions, obligating themselves to implement the established standards into their national policies; and b) many companies include the ILO Working Standards in their CSR policies in the form of a code of conduct or through sustainability certification that may often include (several of) the ILO Labour Standards.

Compliance with the ILO Labour Standards is in many cases a buyer requirement for importing into the EU. Adopting (part of) the ILO Labour Standards can therefore offer you as a supplier competitive advantage when exporting into the EU.

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ISO 26000

If you are an exporter of products or services to the EU, you have to take into account that you can be requested to meet certain social responsibility requirements. ISO 26000 is a framework of guidelines that can help you to map out and address sustainability issues regarding your organisation. Although ISO 26000 is not certifiable, references to the guidelines in various ways are increasingly common.

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Non-food retailer sustainability initiatives

In the EU, large, internationally operating retailer groups encompass a variety of distribution channels (see the box below). Because of their size, EU retailers are extremely influential in terms of pricing, products specifications and sourcing procedures. They exert an influence both on the companies that produce branded products and on the suppliers of their private label products.

EU consumers increasingly hold EU retailers responsible for the sustainability aspects of the products they distribute (in addition to the quality and safety aspects laid down in legislation). In response to those increasing consumers’ concerns, EU retailers developed codes of conducts, standards and management systems and obliged themselves to only source products that meet the environmental and social requirements laid down in these codes and standards.As a (potential) direct or indirect supplier to EU retailers, it is important to understand the initiatives of EU retailers regarding corporate social responsibility.

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Sustainability Reporting GRI

In a sustainability report an organization publicly communicates its economic, environmental, and social performance. Sustainability reporting is relevant for companies that want to disclose and measure their social, environmental and governance performance besides their economic performance. For Sri Lankan suppliers of products and services to EU customers sustainability reporting can be used to show the sustainability of your objectives and operations.

More and more organizations consider a sustainability report as a serious management tool contributing to the dialogue with internal and external stakeholders, shareholders and investors. As sustainability reporting is not mandatory, the quality and format of the reports vary greatly.The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) offers a standard framework to follow that is widely used for sustainability reporting.

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Sustainable labels of floriculture products

In Europe, cotton accounts for 42% of textile sold in the fashion and home furnishing sector. However, the reputation of cotton being an unsustainable crop is spreading: cotton cultivation is associated with serious environmental, social and economic problems. As a result, cotton-specific labels and initiatives have been developed and are used by textile brands and retailers.

Several initiatives have emerged to help retailers sourcing sustainably produced cotton of which the most recognized are organic, fair trade, the better cotton initiative and cotton made in Africa. Sri Lankan exporters of cotton based products should consider the various sustainability labels to better meet the demands for sustainably produced cotton and products thereof.

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Water Footprint

The Water Footprint is an indicator that allows consumers, companies or countries to measure their freshwater use and can as such be used as a starting point for the development of water strategies, as well as to communicate about the individual, country’s or company’s performance.

Water issues translating into potential business risks has been the main incentive for EU companies to look more closely to their supply chains. Potential business risks relate to supply risks, corporate image, anticipation to regulatory control and Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

At present, the Water Footprint as a whole, is only actively practiced by the larger EU companies. Smaller companies, especially those who actively live by their CSR policies, already demand from their suppliers to pay more attention to your water use. They may also ask information regarding water use from all his suppliers to calculate his own water footprint. This means Sri Lankan suppliers will have to make the necessary data available upon demand. Due to increasing global concerns about water scarcity, it is expected that more focus will be put on the concept of the Water Footprint in the future.

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