This month we had our annual BRC Audit, which has resulted in some fantastic news we wanted to share. Now, some of you might be wondering what a BRC Audit is. Well, a BRC Audit can be defined by a type of food safety and quality certification program that assesses the compliance of food manufacturers, processors, and other entities in the food supply chain with a set of industry-specific standards. The BRC standards are designed to ensure the safety, legality, and quality of food products and this can cover a wide range of criteria.
This year we were expecting an unannounced audit. This meant our auditor could arrive at any time within an allocated 3-month period. We knew we needed to be prepared and it was all hands-on deck to ensure all of our ducks were in a row in preparation for their arrival.
On Monday 3rd July, at 8 am, our auditor arrived on site. We had our opening meeting and then the day’s audit began with a warehouse inspection. Anything and everything were put through a thorough inspection. Floors, walls, and ceilings were observed to ensure these were all clean and free of spider webs or debris. The shelving and racking would be assessed to ensure this was in good condition and that the pallets were in the correct places, and all nicely wrapped. The signage was checked to ensure this was all in place, and a once round the grounds to ensure the building is kept clean and free of weeds and pests.
Due to the nature of the unannounced audit, business must continue as usual. Once our warehouse manager, Tony, had finished unloading a container observed by the auditor, it was back to the office. The audit on our processes, procedures and documentation would now begin. This would carry over into day two, and once all was reviewed, the auditor is left alone to summarise their findings. Once happy, and all has been thoroughly scrutinised, it was time for our closing meeting. All findings were presented to us, and we had a full run through of how the audit had gone. We would be presented with any non-conformances, in which we had 21 days to put corrective action into place.
Now for the exciting bit. After our 21-day period to correct any minor issues we faced, we were given our score. We are so happy to announce that we were awarded with AA+. This is the very highest score we could have been awarded for our BRC for Storage and Distribution award, and a huge result for us as the audit was unannounced. As a business, you can imagine we are all over-joyed with the result! As a team we are so very proud of how much hard work is put into this every day by our Quality Manager Ilona, Warehouse Manager Tony, and everyone else who helps towards ensuring our processes and procedures are exemplary and that the site is clean and presented to the highest possible standard.