Thursday, 4 February 2010

FSSC 22000 The standard of choice

This morning at the Global Food Safety Conference, we talked to Vel Pillay, LRQA Americas food safety expert. Vel talked about the road that LRQA has taken to FSSC 22000 and what lies ahead. Our interview took place on day two of the Washington, D.C. event. Below is the transcript of our interview (Listen to or download the audio podcast here)
Approximately three years ago, the North American food sector recognised the need for greater harmonisation, and adopted the five standards/schemes/programmes benchmarked by GFSI.
In 2009, LRQA’S food sector in North America, decided that we cannot be everything to everyone, and that we need to focus. The decision was taken to go to market with FSSC 22000, as our standard of choice. The team spent a lot of time creating credibility and visibility to the industry, through various means of communication and education. Our efforts eventually paid off, many of the multi-nationals recognised our leadership role, and turned towards us as a service provider. Three of the largest multi-nationals in the food sector in North America accepted FSSC 22000 as the standard of choice and chose us as their service provider.
In 2010, there definitely will be several challenges to face, the most imminent one, from my perspective, will be to build the infrastructure globally, to support the current and future market demands. With the emphasis on food safety, there is a shortage of qualified assessors around the world and this is going to be a tremendous challenge for the whole industry, to build that resource needed to provide a consistent and calibrated team. For LRQA, this means having consistent, calibrated resources in Asia, Europe, and North America, so that we can perform an outstanding service for all our clients.
There are three main components to the assessment process, the good standard, the good protocols, and infrastructure necessary. I believe at LRQA we have achieved the first two, and the challenge will be to ensure that we have consistent processes, and a good infrastructure. Another important component is the relationship with the client, I believe that we need to work very closely in partnership with the client, in order to build the trust necessary.

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