A leaner system, based on risk analysis, and added confidence for increased sales
ACP Europe is a leading purifier of carbon dioxide for the food industry, with plants in Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Poland. Our client produces dry ice and dry ice blasting equipment in bulk, mini-bulk and cylinders, with subsidiary companies that include Eurocylinder and Cardigas. Founded in 1897, with origins in the chemical sector, ACP’s clients today include major beverage manufacturers globally. Employing over 100 staff, the business has a turnover of 35 million euros.
Food safety is embedded in ACP’s culture. As a specialist carbon dioxide provider, our client cannot afford any food safety issues. Across the food supply chain, organisations are facing tougher stakeholder demands, rapidly changing business conditions and increased competition. Consequently, they are seeking more effective control of operations, improved performance and better management of risk throughout their business. As a specialist organisation with a suite of trusted products focused on excellence and supplier reliability, ACP was keen to lead the way. It also needed to meet the demands of its growing operations. The business asked us to help add FSSC 22000 accreditation to its HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and ISO 22000 certification. Our role would be instrumental in ACP knowing that its supply chain was risk-free, secure and sustainable.
How we helped
ACP was one of the first companies to receive FSSC 22000 certification from us. Using our unique assessment methodology, we focused on reducing risks across the supply chain and managing food safety and sustainability issues. To support certification, we worked closely with our client to develop an effective internal audit programme. This capitalised on the sector and technical expertise of our assessors. This internal programme was a crucial element. It offered a way for ACP to assess its process, based on the system’s ability to control all hazards in an effective and efficient manner.
Already certified to ISO 22000:2010, we helped ensure that our client’s transition to, and implementation of, FSSC 22000 was trouble-free and seamless. This was achieved with a straightforward external audit by us. For ACP, our third-party audit was vital, providing independent validation of the effectiveness of ACP’s processes. This delivers confidence among stakeholders, from supply-chain partners to consumers and regulators.
Our support also helped ACP make continual improvements within the certification process, leading to overall cost reductions.
FSSC 22000 is a complete certification scheme for food safety management systems, endorsed by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). It is based on ISO 22000, the global food safety management system standard, and PAS 220, a standard developed to address prerequisite programme (PRP) requirements for food product and ingredient manufacturers.
ACP acknowledged that, while PAS 220 added enormously to ISO 22000, it wanted to place greater emphasis on specific areas of the food industry to drive food safety. Stefan Speelmans at ACP explained the need for FSSC 22000 certification: “For ACP, as our organisation continued to grow, both HACCP and ISO 22000 became quite limited for us. HACCP allowed us to perform risk analysis, but it was simply a case of ‘following the embedded principles’. Whilst ISO 22000 provides add-ons to make it a management system, the specific prerequisite programmes (PRPs) for our operations were missing.
“FSSC 22000 delivers a whole new approach to risk management and quality assurance. Through LRQA, the whole network of interacting processes is assessed and monitored thus providing greater assurance to both internal and external stakeholders and protecting our brand reputation.”
“It was a natural step for us to move to FSSC 22000 certification. ACP was one of the first organisations in Belgium to be FSSC 22000 certified. LRQA assessors understand our business and our supply chain and add real value to our business.”
Health and Safety, Environmental and Quality Manager, ACP Europe
FSSC 22000 takes a systematic approach to managing the processes involved in any food-safety management system. Achieving certification resulted in a leaner system for our client, based on detailed risk analysis. “Things that you would ‘pay attention to’ in the past, now ask for ‘meticulous control’ under FSSC 22000, which in turn improves our process knowledge enormously, and allows ACP to have better risk management,” added Stefan Speelmans at ACP.
FSSC 22000 certification is also integral to further sales, especially in an industry climate of food scares. Stefan summarised: “FSSC 22000 certification through LRQA will make it much easier for producers and suppliers like ACP to sell to a varied range of clients. We have greater control over our processes, and as a result, a more holistic view of our organisation. When we say ACP is the best, the best at quality control and with the best products, our clients will believe it.”
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