March 22, 2016

22/03/2016: Integrity of Feed Safety Assurance certification
by Johan den Hartog – Managing Director of GMP+ International

First published in Milling and Grain, January 2016  

The integrity or credibility of a food and feed safety assurance certificate is increasingly important. Major interests are at stake including both commercial and human health. The overall aim of certification is to offer confidence to all stakeholders in the market that a certified company fulfills the requirements of a normative standard of a certification scheme.

Third party certification ensures that an impartial party, such as a certification body or an auditor, assesses a company’s management system, its implementation, and daily operations in a consistent way.

At the end of 2014, GMP+ International renewed its integrity policy for the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme thoroughly, including its enforcement. Lessons taken from recent feed safety emergencies led to this change. Although it has taken some time and effort to implement it fully, the first experiences can now be shared.

A scheme manager applies an Integrity Policy with the aim to ensure the confidence that the certified company complies with the principles and requirements of the applicable normative standards of a certification scheme in a proper and unimpaired manner.

Otherwise a certificate will lose its credibility. Maintaining the credibility of a certification scheme is in the interest of the scheme manager as well as all participants and related stakeholders.

After all, integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. However, when put into practice this is not always the case and furthermore ‘situational interpretation’ of requirements can sometimes result in risks for downstream actors in the market.

An ‘integrity policy’ is one of the most challenging responsibilities of a scheme manager. In most cases, several certification bodies and auditors are involved in the assessment and certification of companies, participating in a certification scheme.

Besides impartiality and competence, the consistency of assessing practical situations by certification bodies and auditors is vital when striving to achieve this.

GMP+ International has 30 accepted certification bodies with about 370 qualified auditors in charge, with the certification against standards of the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme.

Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE 

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
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