As food safety is a top priority in all EU food sectors, you can expect many players to request extra guarantees from you in form of certification. Many EU buyers (e.g. traders, food processors, retailers) require the implementation of a (HACCP-based) food safety management system. The most important food safety management system in the EU are BRC, IFS, FSSC22000 and SQF. Different buyers may have different preferences for a certain management system, so before considering certification against one of these standards, it is advised to check which one is preferred (e.g. UK retailers often require BRC and IFS is more commonly required on by other European retailers). All the mentioned management systems are recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which means that any of them should be accepted by several major retailers. However, in practice some buyers still have preferences for one specific management system.
- EU market entry preparation is more likely to include implementing a food safety management system than not, and it is therefore important to familiarise yourself with them.
- When you plan to target one or more markets, check which specific food safety management systems are most commonly requested. In any case choose for a management system that is GFSI approved.
- Read more on the different Food Safety Management Systems at the Standards Map.