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British Retail Consortium (BRC)

In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC), responding to industry needs, developed and introduced the BRC Food Technical Standard to be used to evaluate manufacturers of retailers own brand food products. It is designed to assist retailers and brand owners produce food products of consistant safety and quality and assist with their 'due diligence' defence, should they be subject to a prosecution by the enforcement authorities. Under EU food Law, retailers and brand owners have a legal responsibility for their brands.

In a short space of time, this Standard became invaluable to other organisations across the sector. It was and still is regarded as the benchmark for best practice in the food industry. This and its use outside the UK has seen it evolve into a Global Standard used not just to assess retailer suppliers, but as a framework upon which many companies have based their supplier assessment programmes and manufacture of branded products.

Many UK, North American and many European retailers, and brand owners will only consider business with suppliers who have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard.

Following the success and widespread acceptance of the BRC Food Technical Standard, the BRC published the first issue of the Packaging Standard in 2002, followed by Consumer Products Standard in August 2003, and finally by the BRC Global Standard - Storage and Distribution in August 2006 . In 2009, the BRC partnered with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) to develop the Global Standard for Consumer Products North America edition.

Each of these Standards is regularly reviewed revised and updated at least every 3 years after extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.