Two hundred industry professionals took part in the Seventh SGS Food Forum “Pragmatic approach to quality and safety” held on 8-9 July in Moscow.
SGS said industry needs the ability to prioritize tasks, streamline processes and measure performance for activities including food safety and quality management.
Topics of note
Tatiana Apatovskaya, regional marketing manager, Eastern Europe and Middle East (EEME) for SGS, said many topics discussed related to management systems and food safety.
“The common problem nowadays is focus on optimization of all kinds of resources, and it concerns every company in the food market,” she told FoodQualityNews.
“The good news is that international standards are perceived as a practical business tool rather than an obstacle, and companies do invest in developing their management systems to gain economic benefits.
“Coming out of their daily routine and joining such an event food professionals get the opportunity to listen to their counterparts and supply chain partners, to express their view on problems they have in common and to find win-win solutions.
“Understanding each stakeholder’s interests and objectives is crucial to achieve sustainable results.”
The Forum gathered quality directors and senior managers from food manufacturing, trade, governmental authorities and NGOs from Russia, Belarus, Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
It also involved a business game on how to streamline resources and set priorities in a limited budget and a panel discussion where speakers shared experience in target setting and result measurement for a management system.
GFSI certification talk
Special guest John Carter, GFSI board member and vice president Metro Group, expanded on the objectives and activities of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
GFSI benchmarks food safety management schemes against a set of requirements established by its stakeholders.
Certification audit of a management system conducted once per year should replace the many audits initiated by supply chain partners.
In Russia, a number of international companies have applied the GFSI approach vis-à-vis their suppliers, however mutual recognition of certificates is still on hold.
Carter called upon the Russian market players to cooperate within the GFSI framework. Currently, 11 schemes have been approved by GFSI.
Jules Rojer, independent technical expert for FSSC 22000, gave advice on how to get prepared to FSSC 22000 audits and what to expect.
He also gave insight in the update of the FSSC 22000 scheme documents. FSSC 22000 will incorporate amongst others GFSI GD7. The update will be version 4.0 and is expected to be published in 2016.
Version 4.0 will include unannounced audits and a food defense/fraud module. GFSI GD7 is expected to require all GFSI certification schemes to introduce unannounced audits (most probably at least once every three years).
End of transition period
The transition period came to its end on 15 February for the Customs Union’s Technical Regulation 021/2011 stating food production audits by supervisory authorities must be conducted on the basis of HACCP.
Nadejda Raeva, head of supervision over food hygiene at the Moscow Region Department from Rospotrebnadzor, spoke about the methodology applied by state inspectors.
She said that although management system’s certification is not required by law, the availability of a certificate testifying of HACPP compliance would facilitate the audit.
A separate session focused on HACCP implementation and further certification.
Olga Kostyleva, senior lecturer at the Rosstandart’s Academy for Standardization, Metrology and Certification, specified food marking requirements within the Customs Union.
She said a manufacturer should take into account Regulation 022/2011 directly concerning food marking but also other documents regulating specific product categories as well as the horizontal Regulation 021/2011.
Senior managers from The Coca-Cola Company, Wimm-Bill-Dann (PepsiCo), PROGRESS, Brewery company Baltika, ROUST, EGMZ №1 (Danone), Groupe Lesaffre, Food Plant Azovsky, Santi (ТАТА Global Beverages), X5 Retail Group, Metro Cash and Carry and InterConsult shared their experience in building management systems to assure food safety and quality.
Forum exhibitors Kimberly-Clark, 3M and Food Safety Systems gave consultations on test systems and food sanitary tools and speakers from VNIMI and Tetra Pak presented on food packaging.
Apatovskaya said feedback from participants has been positive.
“We had both people who joined the forum for the first time, and others who have been attending this event for several consecutive years (the first SGS Food Forum took place in 2008). And both categories of attendees left satisfied, emphasizing the usefulness of the event for their professional activities.
“Every year, we measure degree of satisfaction, and 99% of participants in 2015 said the event to be useful for them, including 68% of participants rating the event as “very useful” (vs 59% in 2014).”