New standard requires processors to submit a three to five year sustainability plan
Bord Bia has developed a new Food Processor Standard (FPS), which combines and replaces the Meat Processor Quality Assurance Standard* (MPQAS) and the Prepared Fruit and Vegetable Standard (PFVS). The Standard is designed to ensure adherence to best practice in food processing from intake through to dispatch. The FPS will become mandatory from November 15th 2022 but processors can opt to be audited against the new standard from May 15th.
Speaking about the new standard, Alice McGlynn, Origin Green Head of Operations said: “The new standard’s requirements are not vastly different from the previous schemes’ but there is greater emphasis on sustainability, food safety and, for meat processors, animal welfare. To achieve certification to the standard, businesses will be required to have an independently verified sustainability plan in place, such as with Origin Green membership. The sustaiility plan submitted must set targets and track progress over time. Members must also provide evidence of an appropriate food safety culture, which is a requirement of a new EU food safety regulation**.”
The standard is structured into five core modules to allow members to tailor the scope of their certification to match their operations.
- Module A is the minimum requirement for certification and covers food safety management and sustainability.
- Module B covers product quality and Quality Mark logo use.
- Module C covers all aspects of meat processing from the lairage to cutting and mincing.
- Module D applies only to fruit and vegetable processing.
- Module E lays out requirements for further processing such as pasteurisation, smoking, and fermentation.
Modules A and B are mandatory for any processor who wishes to use the Bord Bia logo on packs.
This modular approach facilitates a more agile response to changing market and legislative demands. Important amendments or new modules may be implemented as necessary without the need to make major changes to the overall standard.
Alice continued: “From a marketing perspective, the new standard will demonstrate to national and global customers that Irish food processors are continuously evolving their practices to meet increasing market demands around sustainability, transparency, traceability, and authenticity, across all aspects of animal and food processing.”
Bord Bia currently operates schemes for primary producers of beef, dairy, lamb, poultry, pig, egg, feed, and horticulture. All Bord Bia standards are built on best practice in farming and processing and are accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) to ISO 17065.
The Standards are developed through a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) made up of representatives from the industry, Bord Bia, farm organisations, Teagasc, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and other regulatory experts.