Case Study: Food certification schemes support Dutch food safety

Food certification schemes support Dutch food safety

Three food certification schemes (BRC, IFS and FSSC 22000) have now been accepted by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) as meeting its criteria. This can lead to adapted or reduced NVWA supervision for those organisations certified under these three schemes.

This is explained at www.ketenborging.nl, ‘After the horse meat scandal (in 2012), it is clear that food safety and integrity in the food production chain must be better safeguarded. To this end, the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Dutch Minister for Agriculture established the Food Confidence Task Force in March 2013 together with the meat, dairy and animal feed sectors, with the objective of taking measures to restore consumer confidence in food products. The Task Force presented its action plan  in June 2013 and has started the implementation of this plan.

A substantial element in regaining consumer confidence is securing food safety and integrity. This means both public and private safeguarding of food safety and integrity are important in implementing the Task Force’s actions. Private quality schemes play an important role here. In cooperation with the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the Task Force has defined a set of criteria for quality schemes that must strengthen the private safeguarding of food safety and especially food integrity. Transparency and the exchange of information are key elements of these criteria.
Short description of the procedure:

  • Quality schemes are requested to include these criteria, as far as they have not yet been included.
  • Quality schemes that have proven to comply with these criteria can be placed on the website www.ketenborging.nl, to acknowledge that the quality scheme meets these criteria.
  • Businesses can check this website to see if their partners are certified by a quality scheme that meets the abovementioned food safety and integrity criteria, and bring this in line with their operations.
  • In its risk profile and as such in its supervision of individual businesses in the food production sector, the NVWA takes into consideration whether or not the business is certified by a quality scheme that has been proven to meet the criteria. This means that participation in such a quality scheme can both enhance the business’s image and result in reduced supervision. This entails a reduction in costs for the business, to the extent that the business must pay for this supervision.

Through this initiative, the meat, dairy and animal feed sectors can show they are serious about food safety and food integrity and act accordingly.’

Sectors