Innovative assurance solutions promise greater efficiency and transparency throughout the global food and beverage supply chain
Leading professional assurance services provider LRQA is harnessing the power of cloud technology to launch Farm Assurance Certification (FAC) that will enhance the market visibility of the industry’s smaller producers and drive much needed transparency into the origins of the ingredients in the food supply chain.
This ground-breaking new service is powered by greenfence, the food industry’s first open platform for remote auditing and certification, which allows supply chain owners to define the level of assurance they require from their suppliers, who can then demonstrate their compliance online.
This new online farm assurance self-assessment certificate, which will be piloted by some of the world’s best known brands, provides a very visible level of assurance within the complex supply chains found in the food industry. Suppliers can achieve a level of assurance through an online self-assessment which requires a completed questionnaire and the upload of relevant documentation to the greenfence platform, which can be accessed by computer, tablet or smartphone.
The information required typically covers the farm’s capabilities, systems, processes and relevant licenses. No physical site visit is required as the whole process takes place online and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. All data is encrypted between the supplier and LRQA. The supplier is in control of their data and can request to make certain information accessible to potential and existing customers.
Commenting on this latest development, Simon Batters, Vice President Technology Solutions at LRQA said “With smartphones giving us the capability to connect with even the smallest businesses in the most remote parts of the world, we are now able to build transparency across the complete food supply chain. Even the smallest farms can put themselves on the map with the Farm Assurance Certification entry level self-assessment service.”
The changing face of assurance means that there will be an increase in the blending of conventional assessment with digital monitoring – audit solutions that will enable the delivery of real-time assurance and insight, moving from a retrospective focus to predictive insight, from what went wrong to what could go wrong.
For supply chain owners, FAC delivers a base level of visibility and assurance straight through to the origins of the supply chain. It also provides access to a wider network of remotely certified suppliers that may not previously have had the resources to achieve the required certification. For suppliers, the cost effective and easily accessible process of FAC allows them to gain a recognised level of assurance, provides them with access to more supply chains and therefore the potential to increase business. It also facilitates a route to compliance with a GFSI-recognised scheme and minimises risk.
With over 33,000 clients in the food sector, LRQA has supported the development of new concepts and technologies for more than 250 years as part of the Lloyd’s Register group. Combined with the technical expertise of LRQA’s food safety assessors, the focus is firmly on innovation to benefit the future, clients and society at large through the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
To find out more about Farm Assurance Certification from LRQA visit www.lrqa.com/fac or email firstname.lastname@example.org