INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
What is the BRC certification and how does it impact the company?
It’s a world-class security program that sets the standard for the entire supply chain in the food industry. BRC was the first standard to be recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. As a professional printing and packaging company, we are now BRC/IoP Issue 4-certified by GFSI which validates the high standards of quality, safety and traceability of our production line. We also chose BRC certification because it’s partially based on ISO, HAACP and BFP standards, making it the most relevant quality management certification of its class. Specifically, this initiative is part of our proactive approach focusing on continuous improvement. The standard includes annual audits to assess our risk management, safety and hygiene systems, and our control of manufacturing processes as well as upstream and downstream product traceability. The benchmark standards of the audit are among the most demanding in the industry, thereby allowing us to positively contribute to our customer’s value chain.
The standard is currently marginal in North America. Why adopt it when there’s no demand for it on the market?
When founding Netpak 10 years ago, we endeavored to offer our customers every possible certification and to use cutting-edge technologies. This commitment allowed us to consistently deliver high-quality packaging while offering the best safety and traceability guarantees. Although BRC certification standards are mostly found in Europe, the last Food Safety Europe Conference clearly indicated a strong uptake trend of BRC standards across the food industry in the United States and Canada as early as 2015. We are witnessing the adoption of BRC standards in the North American agri-food industry which represents 70% of our customer base. It’s a matter of time until they become a requirement for suppliers. For all these reasons, we decided to take the lead by developing best-in-class quality management practices. Ultimately, our objective is to establish a trusted framework for our customers that testifies to our continuous improvement process. Whatever the relevant industry certification, our customers can be sure that Netpak has obtained it or is about to obtain it.
NETPAK AND THE BRC CERTIFICATION IN NUMBERS
NUMBER OF BRC CERTIFIED FOOD MANUFACTURERS
BRC standards chiefly focus on the agri-food industry. Do they impact customers active in other industries?
BRC/IoP certification standards have come a long way. Although they initially focused exclusively on food packaging, they now encompass the full range of consumer products packaging. Regardless of the industry, every company’s packaging must include health and safety guarantees, and that’s what BRC standards offer with strict quality control criteria and precise identification of all materials used. In fact, our pharmaceutical customers are particularly mindful of traceability and safety criteria. The BRC standards also allow Netpak to meet their specific needs by increasing safety and health aspects across the plant. Overall, every customer benefits from our various certifications, including ISO 9001 as well as eco-certifications such as FSC, PEFC, SFI and ECOLOGO. When dealing with Netpak, our customers are assured that their brand is protected across the value chain, right down to final packaging.
Beyond these certifications, what are the benefits of working with Netpak?
Our commitment to securing leading certifications enables our customers to base their choices on the technical requirements of their project, trusting that Netpak will deliver best-in-class industry quality and safety standards. Therefore, our customers can focus on implementing their project while leveraging our expertise in the process. We contribute early on by helping our customers finalize technical briefs which saves then time when bidding on call for tenders. It’s not a guarantee to win the bid, but the service is always much appreciated. We can also assist in developing the packaging, including structural design, prototypes, and choice of materials and production process. We optimized our production startup process, making it the shortest in the industry. For our agri-food customers, our responsiveness is often a key advantage that affords them the flexibility they need. Importantly, we aim to be a trusted partner for our customers by remaining attuned their specific needs.