Now, more than ever, all food chain stakeholders are required to demonstrate their commitment to food safety and quality. Recent food safety related events have led regulatory bodies like the FDA to examine not only their internal processes but to also set standards and initiatives to increase regulation and oversight of the food production supply chain. Major food retailers are now requiring their suppliers to adhere to either their standards (Woolworths in Australia) or to other GFSI recognised standards (SQF, FSSC 22000 for example), as well as other food safety regulations such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
This increase in safety regulations in the food and beverage industry has resulted in a higher demand for suppliers to demonstrate that they have incorporated safety and quality initiatives into their food production processes. An increasing number of major food retailers will only accept products from suppliers who can demonstrate these food safety and quality principles.
One of the leading methods for demonstrating safety and quality in the food chain is to implement a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) based on the principles of HACCP. Most FSMS require that management is fully committed to its implementation, maintenance and improvement. This implies that management employs and maintains human resources with an adequate level of knowledge, leadership and experience to fulfil the organization’s food safety commitment. As such a food safety leader must be nominated and provided with resources to establish, train and maintain the food safety team.