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Food Quality and Safety
What is meant by quality? Quality is “the ability of a set of characteristics inherent to a product, system or process to comply with the requests of customers and other interested parties". This is the reason for all the talk about focusing on the customer.
In today’s market there is an increasingly pressing request for high quality services. For this reason the commitment of companies to guarantee quality, efficacy and efficiency of products/services provided is a necessary element, not to be ignored.
Improving quality is geared towards pursuing an improvement both in the relationship with the client and in the internal organizational processes.
Besides these external motivations, it must also be highlighted that various companies seek improvements inside the company, which is the best benefit to be obtained by a certified quality system.
GlobalGAP Certification (former EurepGAP)
It is a voluntary product certification scheme for any type of producer, individual or part of a group (cooperative), operating in the sector of production of fresh agricultural products for human consumption. The certification regards fruit and vegetable products obtained through application of integrated and sustainable cultivation techniques, or GAP, Good Agricultural Practices. These techniques are defined by the Global GAP Control Points and Compliance Criteria.
The Control Points are divided in "scopes" specifying the most general principles in common of all the companies of the agro-alimentary line of both the agricultural division and the fish farming/animal breeding one. They are further divided into "sub-scopes" clarifying the most specific requisites characterizing Fruit and Vegetable production.
GlobalGAP is a certification scheme applied at the International level. It was developed in 1999 by the GDO (Large-scale retail trade), originating as EUREPGAP, then changing its name and structure under the latest revision, number 3 in March 2007.
The purpose of this scheme is to allow large-scale retail trade to purchase fruit and vegetable productions obtained with preset, controlled and certified cultivation methods in order to put them on the market offering the consumer guarantees of quality, food safety, and documented traceability.
Our studio provides the necessary consulting to walk you through the GlobalGAP certification even with financing from Catalogo Verde.
BRC IFS Certification
Today certification according to BRC (British Retail Consortium) and IFS (International Food Standard) is a fundamental requisite required by many European retail distribution chains and regards the processors of agricultural products. Developed by the BRC and by the BDH (Federal Union of German Commerce Associations), the Standards are created to ascertain the conformity of suppliers regarding food legality and safety requirements.
The main requirements of the standards regard the adoption of an HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) system, the implementation of a documented quality system and the control of products, processes, employees and the environmental conditions of the processing facilities. These standards are currently recognized by the majority of the English, German, and French retail chains, and by an increasing number of European distribution chains.
Product line traceability certification responds to a precise need of reassuring the consumer in today’s globalized market in which distances between producers and consumers is ever-increasing.
Traceability, which allows for tracing a product back to its origins and determining all the steps and activities tied to the various stages of processing and distribution of the same product, constitutes a guarantee for the client/consumer in that it formally determines the responsibility of all the subjects who have contributed to obtaining the food product, with no exclusions.
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a system of self-control that every food production sector operator must put into practice in order to assess and estimate dangers and risks as well as establish control measures to prevent hygienic and health problems from arising.
The HACCP system originates from the requirement of guaranteeing the healthiness of food preparations. Prior to the adoption of the HACCP system, controls were carried out at the end of the production process, with an analysis of the finished product alone, ready for sale to the consumer. The self-control system instead aims at evaluating risks that can threaten food safety at every phase of production, putting preventive measures into effect.
This checking system is determined to monitor the whole production and distribution process of the food, with the aim of determining some critical phase(s) of the process, or critical control points, which must be constantly monitored.
The system was thought up in the United States in the 1960’s with the objective of ensuring that food products supplied to NASA astronauts would have no negative effects on their health putting space missions at risk.
HACCP was first introduced in Europe in 1993 with the 43/93/CEE directive (adopted in Italy as the 26 May 1997 legislative decree, no. 155), which foresaw the obligation of applying the HACCP protocol for all operators at any and every level of the food production chain. This regulation was substituted in 2006 with regulation 852/2004.
Likewise in 2006 the HACCP system became mandatory even for companies involved in the production of animal feed for animals destined for food production (production of the raw materials, mixes, additives; sales; administration).
The HACCP system is based on the application of seven principles:
  1. Conduct a hazards and risk analysis.
  2. Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs).
  3. Establish critical limits.
  4. Establish monitoring procedures.
  5. Establish corrective actions.
  6. Establish verification procedures.
  7. Establish recordkeeping and documentation procedures.
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