Monday, July 13, 2020

You can get e-magazine links on WhatsApp. Click here


Certification includes mgmt system & identity preserved certification
Wednesday, 29 May, 2019, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Chinmayee Deulgaonkar
Year 2000: The phone call in my office rings. It’s a query for HACCP certification as their customers in Europe are asking for it. I check with him whether he wants Codex HACCP, Japanese HACCP or Dutch HACCP. The reply is “koi bhi chalega” (any HACCP will do).

Year 2005: The voice enquires “Suna hai ISO kuch naya leke aaya hai” (Heard some new ISO standard has come on food safety). And I say yes – the first ever food safety management system certification standard.

Year 2010: “What is this GFSI?” I want GFSI certification.

Year 2018: I don’t know which certification I need to choose. They now ask me to demonstrate my sustainability footprint. My customers come up with new demand every time.

Being in the certification sector from past 20 years, I have seen the continuously evolving and changing world of certification. The number of private standards and their requirements has increased so exponentially that it is challenging for both the industry and the certification bodies to meet the requirements.

It all began in late 90s. International HACCP Alliance (IHA) was formed when HACCP was becoming a regulatory requirement in USA. The purpose was to provide safe meat and poultry products and bring in together industry associations, educational foundations, professional organisations, university experts, government co-operators (both within the United States and internationally), and third-party private companies. During this time frame, and in parallel, both of the voluntary standards known as Safe Quality Foods (SQF) programme (1994, USA), British Retail Consortium (BRC) scheme (1998, England), International Food Safety Standard (IFS) scheme (2003, Germany & France), Foundation of Food Safety Certification (SCV) (2004, Netherlands) were emerging.

All these standards were eventually qualified for Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked standards. In all cases, implementation with these standards was expected to be audited by third-party certification bodies.

In 2008, Walmart was the first regional and national grocers to adopt GFSI as a requirement in their supply chain leading to adoption of the GFSI concept by their suppliers as a requirement for doing business. This “requirement” was then further adopted by other GFSI member organisations, leading to massive increase in demand for third-party certification of GFSI bench-marked scheme. As of 2018, there are 14 GFSI-Recognised Certification Programmes that meet bench-marking requirements, in addition to China’s HACCP programme that is acknowledged for its equivalence to GFSI technical requirements.

During this decade, the stock-listed companies were asked to report their sustainability footprint as a part of their financial reporting. And hence, to demonstrate compliance's over socio-economic, environmental aspects in the supply chain, commodity specific schemes were developed, with third-party certification requirements.

Typically, we can broadly divide the world of certification as follows: Management System Certification; Product / Process Certification; Identity Preserved Certification; Social Standards Certification; Sustainability Certification.

1. Management System Certification: This goes as a core of ISO-based management system certification programme. Before ISO 22000:2005 based Food Safety Management System (FSMS) standard was developed, ISO 9001 was popular in food industry. The newly developed standard was perceived as combination of QMS and HACCP by the market and the demand for ISO 9001 in food industry started reducing. Simultaneously, to demonstrate compliances over other allied issues, the demand for ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 (now ISO 45001) started increasing. As ISO changed the approach to “risk-based thinking,” organisations are going beyond the risk mitigation of just food safety, environmental aspects and safety hazards. The certification body has to demonstrate compliance against ISO 17021 requirements.

2. Product / Process Certification: The process of certifying that a certain product has passed performance tests and quality assurance tests, and meets qualification criteria stipulated in contracts, regulations, or specifications (typically called "certification schemes" in the product certification industry. Most product certification bodies (or product certifiers) are accredited to ISO/IEC 17065 Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services (previously ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996), an international standard for ensuring competence in those organisations performing product, process and service certifications.

This essentially refers to GFSI approved scheme certification except FSSC 22000.

3. Identity Preserved Certification: The Identity Preservation Programme is a voluntary certification that provides participating companies with independent, third-party verification of the identification, segregation, and traceability of their product's unique, value-added characteristic. Verification is provided at every stage, including seed, production, processing, and distribution. Example includes – Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, organic and so on.

4. Social Standards Certification: With increased customer demand and regulations around the social norms, social accountability standards like SA 8000, SEDEX / SMETA audits are becoming a pre-requisite to enter the supply chain of listed companies. Many companies have developed their own private standard for the verification of potential suppliers.

5. Sustainability Certification: Sustainability standards and certifications are voluntary, usually third-party-assessed, norms and standards relating to environmental, social, ethical and food safety issues, adopted by companies to demonstrate the performance of their organisations or products in specific areas. There are perhaps up to 500 such standards. Certification schemes have diverse origins and objectives – e.g., organic standards recognise crops grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, fair trade aims to improve market access and prices for disadvantaged producers and commodity roundtables were established to address the negative impacts of palm oil, soy, and other crops. Standards do not necessarily address all facets of sustainability, but most define criteria relating to biodiversity conservation as well as other environmental and social outcomes.

There is a certification for every part of the complex supply chain.

The Snapshot of Certification World

Position in Supply Chain


Position in Supply Chain


Animal Feed


  • GMP+

  • QC of Feed Materials

Packaging Material

  • BRC Packaging

  • FSSC Packaging

Primary Production

  • Global GAP / GFSI recognised GAP

  • Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)

  • MSC Fisheries

Food Equipment

  • ISO 22000

  • CE Marking

  • NSF Food Equipment Certification

  • EHEDG Equipment

Food Processing

  • ISO 22000

  • BRC Global Standard

  • IFS

  • SQF 2000

  • FSSC 22000 (Food)

Cleaning Chemicals

  • ISO 22000

  • NSF


Storage & Distribution

  • BRC Storage & Distribution

  • IFS Logistic


  • FSSC 22000 (Retail)

  • BRC Retail

Agent & Brokers

  • BRC A&B


  • Vegan

  • Non-GMO

  • Gluten Free

  • Organic

Examples of Some Commodity Specific Certification


Certification (mainly on the lines of sustainability)


Cocoa / Coffee

  • UTZ / Fairtrade / RAC

  • UTZ


  • Ethical Trade Partnership

  • Trustea

  • Fairtrade

Soy / Sugar / Corn

  • ProTerra

  • Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)



International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)

Palm Oil


Rainforest Alliance (RAC)

Fishery / Seafood

  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

  • Aqua Stewardship Council (ASC)

  • And Many More….

*Although most popular schemes are represented, there are chances of missing out some scheme due to enormous number available.

The manufacturers can gain a marketing advantage by having a third-party verify specific claims / systems about their products or processes or systems. On a basic level, third-party-verified claims or systems are trustworthy. The key is to choose the right certification based on the competence in the organisation and customer requirements.

If the organisations demonstrate their commitment with their words and actions, company’s policies, systems, and processes that incentivise good food safety decisions and behaviour at every level of the organisation, it is the achievement of food safety culture. Then, the third-party certification is just an endorsement.

(The author is managing director, Foodchain Id. She can be contacted at
Print Article Back FNB News Twitter
Post Your commentsPost Your Comment
* Name :    
* Email :    
  Website :  
Comments :  
Captcha :

Food and Beverage News ePaper
“We had to change our growth plan; stick to existing model of online retail”
Past News...

Packaged wheat flour market growth 19% CAGR; may reach Rs 7500 cr: Ikon
Past News...
Advertise Here
Advertise Here
Advertise Here
Recipe for Success
Bartending ‘interesting accident’, states aspiring mathematician Lal
Past News...

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Feedback | Disclaimer
Copyright © Food And Beverage News. All rights reserved.
Designed & Maintained by Saffron Media Pvt Ltd