"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not mean all who were laughed at were geniuses. They laughed at Columbus. They laughed at Fulton. They also laughed at Bozo the clown." Carl Sagan
In week ended 5th January, the deadweight prime cattle average price levelled on the week at 365.0p/kg. read more
As domestic lamb continues to compete with increased volumes of cheaper imports and demand remains subdued, DW lamb prices eased in week ended 5th January. read more
World prices eased back towards the end of 2012 although remained at levels comparable to the same period in 2011. read more
Having shot to record levels during September and October, GB finished pig prices continued to rise in November and early December, albeit more slowly. read more
The GB weekly average price rose by £4.63/t to £227.93/t and the free-buy average fell by £4.45/t to £330.74/t. read more
Mid-January saw the release of much-anticipated information from the USDA in the form of world supply and demand estimates, US winter wheat plantings, final 2012 production estimates and quarterly stocks. read more
The USDA data set a bearish tone for oilseed markets with upward revisions to US and Brazilian crops. read more
UK malting barley export prices are at €245/t FOB (spring, South Coast) w/e 11th April. read more
The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on the activity of UK hatcheries and poultry slaughterhouses. read more
USDA’s latest quarterly stocks report, released on 28th September, estimated US maize stocks (at 1st September) at 25.1m t, down 12% on the same point in 2011 and the lowest since 2004. read more
Food industry faces inspection changes
The world’s most widespread food safety standard is changing, Amanda McCarthy tells Chris Lyddon
Farmers are used to the assurance inspector turning up and going over everything, but it’s just the start of a chain of assurance and independent inspection that covers the food industry right up to the point at which the consumer buys the final product.
That inspection system, for most of the food chain, is about to change in a quite revolutionary way, explains Amanda McCarthy, food certification director at NSF-CMi, one of the biggest independent third party inspection bodies.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC), the retailers’ trade association, is about to change its standard – and it is one that has come to be adopted in countries around the world.
“It’s massive,” says Ms McCarthy. “Of the food safety standards it’s number one in terms of numbers and the most widespread in terms of where it’s used throughout the world. It’s on every continent.”
The BRC standard was boosted by the 2007 decision of US supermarket Walmart to write to all its suppliers insisting on third-party certification.
“The BRC came in and was the first one to say ‘we can help you out’, so it took off in the US as well,” says Ms McCarthy.
“That’s made a huge difference. It’s a lot more consistent, rather than individual retailers expecting a certain approach.”
For example, rather than Sainsbury’s going to a manufacturer and saying it wanted things done a particular way and Tesco coming along afterwards and wanting something different, manufacturers could work to the same standard for all their customers.
“Now it’s a consistent approach. What the BRC food standard is asking for in terms of supply management is one approach.”
That standard, however, is about to change.
“There is a new version coming out in January, Issue Six,” Ms McCarthy explains.
“The BRC is making a conscious move away from documentation and more into what is actually happening on the site. It has actually reduced the number of requirements that are purely documentation and increased the number which are a good manufacturing practice.”
“There have been some instances where auditors have gone in and done their paper trail exercise and then retailers have gone in behind them and found the hygiene and housekeeping wasn’t up to scratch,” points out Ms McCarthy.
“They want more time spent on that. They are actually looking at unannounced audits as well – where the auditor just turns up and says ‘I want to get into the factory within half an hour and see what’s going on’.
“You will find that manufacturers will have to do a lot more to make sure their own site is up to scratch, rather than just purely getting the documentation all together,” she adds.
“The documentation will still need to be there, but it is quite a significant change of emphasis by the BRC.”
Site design Surface Creative, integration by 360 Solutions
© Grove House Publishing Ltd, a Ten Alps Company, Hendal Oast, Hendal Farm, Groombridge, Kent TN3 9NU
firstname.lastname@example.org | 01892 861664