Implementing GFSI-recognized food safety standards can be challenging. Small and medium-sized companies in particular can find it difficult to meet the high requirements in the initial phase. The FSSC Development Program, designed to help companies overcome this challenge, will be launched on July 1 2020. It replaces the FSSC 22000 Global Markets Program. In the following you can find out what the Development Program offers, how companies can participate in the program and how the new version differs from the Global Markets Program.
In terms of food safety, there are usually two options: either companies manage to meet the high requirements of the certification standards, or they simply don’t. With the FSSC Development Program, the non-profit organization FSSC 22000 has created a system that enables SMEs to find a middle ground. The program can benefit both manufacturers of ingredients that deliver to other food manufacturers and companies that supply retailers and food service organizations.
How does the FSSC Development Program work?
The program is divided into three levels: level 1, level 2 and FSSC 22000 certification. Companies can start at any level within the program and then choose to proceed to any level. This way, SMEs can easily develop and improve their food safety system according to their own needs and those of their customers.
To participate in the program, companies must first conduct a self-evaluation. The company’s food safety system is then assigned to level 1 or level 2. If necessary, companies can rely on the support of a training provider. The applicant organization then hires an approved assessor, for example DQS CFS. After the assessment, the organisation must implement corrective actions in case of non-compliances. The declaration of conformity (level 1 or 2) is then issued and the organization is listed in a public register on the FSSC website. The declaration of conformity for level 1 or 2 is valid for one year. In order to maintain or improve the status, assessments have to be carried out annually.
You can download all the relevant documents here. The documentation for the new program will be updated soon.
The FSSC Development Program is easy to use and enables companies to set up their food safety system in a flexible and structured manner, while demonstrating their entrepreneurial commitment to food safety. The program is aligned with the CODEX HACCP, GFSI Global Markets and the FSSC 22000 structure, which ensures worldwide recognition.
The integration of the FSSC Development Program helps purchasing companies to develop their supplier relationships and to ensure that the basic aspects of food safety are being respected. This can also improve harmonization and cost efficiency in the food supply chain. Conversely, participating in the program offers food manufacturers the opportunity to expand their market access.
FSSC Global Markets Program versus FSSC Development Program
The FSSC Development Program is more flexible, so that organizations may begin the program at any one of the defined conformity levels and then remain at that level if it is sufficient for them and their clients. Also an advantage for SMEs is the price structure: the annual fee for food companies has been removed.
The FSSC Global Markets Program will be replaced by the FSSC Development Program on July 1, 2020. From this point onwards, all conformity assessments shall be delivered against the FSSC Development Program, which means that any conformity statement against the FSSC Global Markets program will not be valid after 30 June 2021.