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On August 1 2019, Version 6 of the BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging Materials was published. It provides a common basis for certification of companies providing packaging for all types of products - from food to consumer goods.

Originally issued in 2001, the Standard is recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and over 3500+ organisations in 80+ countries are certified to the Standard. The scope is comprehensive, covering areas of quality, legality and product safety and states requirements for manufacturers of packaging materials used in the production of and filling operations for food, hygiene-sensitive consumer products (including cosmetics), raw materials and other consumer goods.

With recognition from retailers, manufacturers and the world’s best-known brands, the Standard is perceived as a licence to operate for organisations serving global supply chains.

Certification against Version 6 will begin from 1 February 2020.  All certificates issued against Version 5 will remain valid until their expiry date.

The focus for this issue is:

  • Enhancing the processes used by quality management systems in printed packaging controls and through a hazard and risk analysis approach;
  • Continuing to ensure consistency of the audit process across the world;
  • The importance of a product safety and quality culture in the drive to improve transparency and coherence across the food supply chain;
  • Simplifying the hygiene requirements based solely on risk;
  • Introducing a new fundamental clause, corrective and preventive actions, to address issues and minimise the risk of their occurring;
  • Based on risk, putting a microbiological environmental monitoring programme in place; and
  • Simplifying the unannounced audit programme.

LRQA works with over 35,000 clients within the food and beverage sector and recognises that with the increasing globalisation and complexity of supply chains, having the right packaging assurance programme - verified by a reputable body with a global footprint is critical. Accredited standards, such as BRCGS Global Standards Packaging Version 6, can help protect businesses brand reputation as well as their customers.

More information about LRQA's wide range of food assurance services can be found here.