The future of food auditing
Two experts look at how the path of auditing has changed – from initial intentions, to the current situation and what the future likely holds…
If we think back to the inception of the BRC (known most commonly as the BRCGS – the global standard for food safety now), it was a collaboration of interested parties from the food industry, with a shared ambition: to improve standards, provide due diligence and remove the need for repetition of audits.
In this article, we dive into the subject of certification audits, external and internal audits, and consider whether this joint goal has turned out as hoped.
Although the standards are now more rigorous than they used to be, the purpose of auditing is still the same – to improve standards and provide supply chain due diligence. But we’re a million miles away from where we’d hoped in terms of reducing the number of audits.
As standards have improved, the need for auditing has become more inherent in how we function in the food industry. There has always been a significant gap between the requirements of certification standards in the UK and due diligence required by customers – and that remains the case today. The result of this is that sites continue to host multiple audits to cover certification and meet their customers’ needs.
The range of requirements has also meant that internal audit systems have had to develop and become more complex. Sites are required to audit numerous standards, which presents the ongoing problem of trying to amalgamate a range of ever changing and developing clauses.