If you are a food producer, supplier, or agent and broker you may have heard of BRC and SALSA certification. But what are they, and how do they differ? In this blog post, we will explain the basics of these two food safety standards and how they can benefit your business.
BRC stands for Brand Reputation through Compliance, and it is a global standard for food safety and quality management. It was developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and is used by food manufacturers, retailers, and certification bodies around the world. BRC certification is only granted to suppliers who are able to demonstrate to an auditor that they are able to produce safe and legal food and are committed to continually meeting the requirements of the BRC standard.
SALSA stands for Safe and Local Supplier Approval, and it is a UK-based standard for food safety and quality management. It was developed by experienced food safety experts to reflect both the legal requirements of producers and the enhanced expectations of professional food buyers. SALSA certification is only granted to small and micro producers who can demonstrate to an auditor that they are able to produce safe and legal food and are committed to continually meeting the requirements of the SALSA standard.
The main difference between BRC and SALSA certification is the scale and scope of the standards. BRC is designed for larger operations that supply national and international markets, while SALSA is designed for smaller operations that supply local and regional markets. BRC has more rigorous requirements and higher costs than SALSA, but it also has more recognition and acceptance among global buyers. SALSA has more flexible requirements and lower costs than BRC, but it also has more limited recognition and acceptance among local buyers.
Both BRC and SALSA certification can help you improve your food safety practices, increase your customer confidence, and access new markets. However, depending on your business size, goals, and resources, you may find one standard more suitable than the other. To help you decide which certification is right for you, here are some questions to consider:
- How big is your operation? If you have more than 50 employees or a turnover of more than £5 million, you may need BRC certification to meet the expectations of your buyers. If you have fewer than 50 employees or a turnover of less than £5 million, you may find SALSA certification more achievable and affordable.
- Who are your customers? If you supply national or international retailers, food service companies, or manufacturers, you may need BRC certification to comply with their requirements. If you supply local or regional retailers, food service companies, or producers, you may find SALSA certification sufficient to prove your food safety standards.
- What are your ambitions? If you want to expand your business to new markets or regions, you may need BRC certification to demonstrate your competitiveness and credibility. If you want to consolidate your business in existing markets or regions, you may find SALSA certification enough to maintain your reputation and loyalty.
- SALSA is often used as a stepping stone to BRC. Getting the business in the mindset of food safety certification and everything that comes with it, such as food safety frameworks and protocols that can be quickly and easily adapted to BRC standards as the business grows and develops.
To learn more about BRC and SALSA certification, contact us for a free consultation for advice and on how we can help you achieve your food safety goals.