News & Events

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Branchenreglement Hortikultur angepasst

Im Suisse Garantie Branchenreglement Hortikultur ist die Einhaltung von SwissGAP Hortikultur eine Grundvoraussetzung. Aufgrund der neuen SwissGAP Version wurde auch das Branchenreglement Hortikultur angepasst.

Die Anpassung tritt per 1. Juni 2024 in Kraft (analog SwissGAP)

Es geht inhaltlich um 2 Bereiche:

Kapitel 1.3 & 2.2: Produktgruppen
Lediglich begriffliche Anpassungen, weil auch die Produktgruppen bei GLOBALG.A.P. / SwissGAP etwas geändert haben.
- zusätzlich zu SwissGAP: Gemüsejungpflanzen

Anhang 2:
Hier werden die zum ÖLN gleichwertigen Anforderungen definiert. Ein beachtlicher Teil davon wird über SwissGAP abgedeckt.
Die Änderungen bestehen nur darin, dass die Referenz zu den SwissGAP Kapiteln angepasst wurde.

5-star BRCGS rating

ProCert Achieves the prestigious BRCGS 5-star rating!

A significant step in the food industry: ProCert has proudly received the prestigious 5-star rating from BRCGS. This achievement underlines ProCert's commitment to excellence, safety and quality.

The 5-star rating from BRCGS is a testament to ProCert's unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of food safety and compliance. Through rigorous audits and stringent assessments, ProCert has proven its ability to consistently meet and exceed industry benchmarks, setting a new standard for excellence in the sector.

The 5-star rating from the BRCGS not only underlines ProCert's position as an industry leader, but also gives customers additional confidence in the safety and quality of its products. With this prestigious award, ProCert is able to further strengthen its reputation and drive continued growth and success in the market.

Stay tuned as ProCert continues to raise the bar and set new standards in the food industry.

Global Organic Integrity Datenbank

Ab dem 19. März 2024 müssen alle Bio-Exporte in die USA in der Global Organic Integrity Datenbank abgebildet werden

Ab dem 19. März 2024 müssen alle Bio-Exporte in die USA in der Global Organic Integrity Datenbank abgebildet werden (kurz: Integrity Datenbank). Dazu müssen Betriebe, welche Bio-Produkte in die USA exportieren, sich in der Integrity Datenbank registrieren und von ProCert freigegeben werden. Falls Sie Bio-Produkte in die USA exportieren, melden Sie sich vor dem ersten Export bei ProCert per E-Mail auf oder telefonisch +41 31 560 67 67.

Information on FSSC 22000 Version 6

Version 6 of FSSC 22000 was published on1 April 2023.

The standard can be found here (Scheme Version 6): Version 6.0 - FSSC 

FSSC has also published a standard with the changes in a different colour. This document is only available in English.

Deadlines

  • Version 6 audits are mandatory from 1 April 2024. Audits according to V 5.1 must take place up to and including the audit date of 31 March 2024. The first audit day is decisive.
  • For every organisation certified today, a version 6 audit must be carried out by 31 March 2025 at the latest. If this cannot be met, then FSSC will automatically withdraw the current V 5.1 certificate on 31 May 2025, without exception.
  • The audit cycle remains the same. The audit type changes for surveillance audits: these are designated as upgrade audits. No generally additional audit time needs to be scheduled for an upgrade audit. However, due to the adjusted calculation by FSSC, there will be general adjustments to the audit duration (see below). After successful completion of the upgrade audit, a new certificate to version 6 is issued, the certificate validity remains unchanged.
  • For unannounced audits with an audit time window that includes 1 April 2024, the following rules apply: the audit time window will either be set to 1 January 2024 - 31 March 2024 (V 5.1 audit) or then from 1 April with a V 6 audit.

New requirements

The following requirments have been integrated into new additional requirements FSSC:

  • Food safety and quality culture
  • Quality control
  • Equipment management (Hygienic Design)
  • Food loss and waste
  • Communication requirements

A number of additions have been made to the existing additional requirements. 

Increase in costs

With the new additional requirements, FSSC has decided to increase the audit duration by 4 h for each audit type. In addition, the time to be charged for the preparation of the audit report including the management of non-conformities has been set at a mandatory 8 hours.

With version 6, the basis for the audit time calculation as well as for the categories is now based on the ISO 22003-1:2022 standard published in 2022. The parameters for calculating the audit time are the number of HACCP studies and the number of full-time employees. 

Clients with central processes

For organisations with central processes, it must be ensured that the central processes are also audited in accordance with V 6 if not all audits at the sites are completed before 31.03.2024. If the central audit of an organisation takes place before 31.03.2023, this will be based on version V5.1. After 01.04.2023, a central audit must then be carried out on the new contents of version 6. The scope of this audit is defined by ProCert. 

Webinars

We conduct webinars for the new version, with our Training Partner Progress Excellence. This will provide you with the specific information you need to implement the new requirements. FSSC will also publish various documents on its website in the coming weeks to support you in interpreting and implementing the new requirements. You can also subscribe to the FSSC newsletter directly Contact - FSSC 

FSSC 24000 Social Responsibility

FSSC aims to set a new standard in the field of social sustainability with FSSC 24000. You can find more information here: Deliver trust and impact in global social responsibility with FSSC 24000 - FSSC  FSSC 24000 is based on PAS 24000. If you are interested, please contact us. 

COID number

Certified Organization Identification Codes (COIDs) are now implemented to maintain the traceability of certified organizations within the FSSC Assurance Platform and the industry.  The COID is a unique code allocated to every (certified) organization that is registered in the Assurance Platform.  The COID stays with the organization to ensure traceability, also in the event of a transfer.   This COID is available for FSSC 22000 certified organizations on the FSSC public register.  The COID code will be included on the FSSC 22000 certificate.  Existing FSSC 22000 certificates will therefore be updated and re-issued to include the COID code, following the next audit that is due in 2023. 

This COID number is recorded in the footer of the certificate. Existing FSSC 22000 certificates will be updated and reissued after the next audit performed.

FSSC On-Site

FSSC has developed a new digital solution which they present here: Discover FSSC On-Site - FSSC   This service is of interest to groups, but unlikely to be of interest to individual companies. In the future, you as a customer will also have access to your data. The conditions as well as the date are not yet fixed.

Newsletter IFS Food Version 8

IFS Food V8 is applicable from 1 October 2023, and mandatory from 1 January 2024.

We would like to inform you about the modifications made to the IFS Food V8. The main axes of these changes include a reduction in the number of requirements, improvement in the structure of the certification protocol, and harmonization of the vocabulary used during the audit.

The scoring system will be better defined, with a return to the B rating as a deviation. Evaluation reports will be clearly structured with standardized sections, and requirements for subcontracted processes will be defined.

The new structure of the certification protocol will take into account the ISO 22003-2 standard in addition to the ISO 17065 requirements for a more detailed certification process. The main objectives of this revision are clarity, concision, and clear audit practices, with a focus on on-site evaluation.

We are also pleased to inform you that the evaluation report revision will make it easier to read and will take into account the needs of stakeholders, with a new standardized format and changes in the report.

Finally, we emphasize the development of Food Safety Culture, which will be a key element of the audit to ensure food safety at all stages of the supply chain.

FSSC 22000 Version 6

Version 6 of the FSSC 22000 system was released on March 31, with a 12-month transition period.

The major changes include, firstly, the realignment of the categories of the food chain in accordance with the ISO 22003-1:2022 standard. Secondly, the scope has been expanded to include trade and brokerage (FII), while agriculture and the FSSC 22000-Quality system standard have been removed.

In addition, requirements for food safety and quality culture have been integrated, while new requirements have been introduced for quality control, food losses and waste, and equipment management.

Existing additional requirements have also been strengthened, including management of allergens and environmental monitoring. Finally, the requirements for the certification process have been modified and clarified. In summary, the version 6 of the FSSC 22000 system has brought significant changes to enhance food safety and quality, while simplifying and clarifying requirements for businesses.

Lifting of IFS suspension

GFSI lifted the suspension of IFS on 8 March 2023.

The lifting of the IFS suspension marks a return to calm with regard to the recognition of IFS certificates. Only in very few cases has this recognition given rise to uncertainty.  IFS commented on this decision as follows: "We provided GFSI with all the necessary information on the case in Italy, underwent an audit with the GFSI benchmark leader on 3 March 2023 and always fulfilled the GFSI benchmarking requirements. We therefore welcome today’s decision of the GFSI Steering Committee to reinstate IFS as a GFSI-recognised CPO. Nevertheless, IFS has considered the suspension of the benchmark by GFSI as unfounded and arbitrary. It has unsettled many IFS-certified companies and has not contributed to food safety. We have always worked to ensure that their customers continue to recognise IFS Certificates and are grateful for the trust placed in us by our global network.”

Suspension of IFS by GFSI

Last Friday, GFSI announced the suspension of IFS for 3 months, without giving any reason. A very unusual measure.

ProCert and all IFS customers were informed by IFS directly on Friday afternoon that IFS will appeal immediately, that the IFS certificates will remain valid and that all customers of the IFS network will continue to recognise these certificates. The audits can be carried out as planned. ProCert is accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Service (SAS) and has signed a legally valid contract with IFS.  This probably politically motivated GFSI decision affects neither the accreditation of ProCert nor the contract with IFS. The audits and certificates remain under accredited conditions where applicable. If you have any questions, you can send your question to quality@procert.ch.

Information concerning Version 9 of the BRCGS Food

Version 8 of BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety is now available. Its application is mandatory from 1 February 2023.

Version 9 of the BRCGS Food is available and can be downloaded free of charge here

 

Effective date:

All BRCGS Food audits from 1 February 2023 onwards must be performed according to version 9.

Overview of the main changes:

• Audit protocol: new option with "blended" audit

• Food safety culture, stronger and more detailed approach and requirements • Improved control of outsourced activities

• New requirements for food fraud and food defence

• New requirements for staff training

• New section for sites with primary processing activities

• Minor changes to several requirements, which need to be adapted before the audit.

Our training partner “Progress Excellence” organized also full day workshops on the subject

Information on version 7 of IFS Food

ProCert has informed his clients about the most important changes that affect them. Below you will find a summary of the points covered.

1. New IFS Food Doctrine V7 applicable from September 2021

At the end of June, IFS published a new Food Doctrine, which is applicable from September 2021. ProCert has informed its clients about the most important points.

2. Obligation to report incidents, registration in the IFS portal (new)

Organisations must inform their certification body within 3 working days of any changes "that may affect the company's ability to meet the certification requirements. The content of these notifications must now also be stored in the IFS portal.

3. Adapted Collaboration Guide (version 6)

ProCert has adapted his guide in various points. A chapter on the subject of incidents has also been added.

4. IFS integrity programme – with announced checks at very short notice

As a reminder: IFS may conduct an assessment with or otherwise request to work with an organisation at any time, for example, to process a complaint from a retailer. IFS carries out such checks annually at all certification bodies on at least 1% of the audited companies.

5. First IFS Food V7 Assessments &Preparation Forms

ProCert has created two forms which organisations are asked to complete before their first IFS Food Version 7 Assessment, so that the auditor can prepare the first IFS Assessment Report according to Version 7 quickly and without errors.

6. Head office and central functions

Assessments of central functions are also associated with certain risks for organisations. Extract from IFS Food V7: "If a serious non-conformity is detected during the IFS assessment of the head office /central administration, all assessed production sites are also affected and the certificates of these production sites are suspended".

7. Unannounced assessments

From 2021, every third audit or assessment must be unannounced, according to the requirements of the GFSI. This means that ProCert has until 2023 to implement this requirement.

8. Data update in IFS Portal

Certification bodies only can edit and update the master data of a company. Therefore, they depend on companies to inform them immediately if anything changes in the legal form, address, phone numbers and IFS contact person and emergency contact.

9. New IFS registration fees for uploads as of 1 January 2022

IFS has informed as of mid-July 2021 that IFS fees will be increased from 1 January 2022 as follows. The fee for all main standards (Food, Broker, Logistics, HPC, PAC Secure, Wholesale/Cash & Carry) will be increased from 300 euros to 350 euros.

10. Reminder: ProCert food safety culture self-assessment tool

At the end of March, ProCert has released a Food Safety Culture Self-Assessment Tool. This tool can be downloaded free of charge from the ProCert website under Downloads.

IN-Qualis standard:2018 - Certified quality of insertion

ProCert obtained the IN-Qualis accreditation at the end of July 2021. This standard replaces the former AOMAS 2010 standard in the field of social inclusion.

The IN-Qualis:2018 standard is a quality management system that was created specifically for quality assurance and development in the field of integration services.

Socio-vocational integration organisations support and accompany people with special needs in measures to restore, improve or maintain their employability, so that they can access the labour market or a training place (initial vocational training). 

Source (in French): www.arbeitsintegrationschweiz.ch/fr/norme-qualite

Find out more about ProCert's involvement in the Health & Social Care field: www.procert.ch/health-social-care

  • 08.07.2021

Adaptation of the Protection concept of certification bodies for audits and inspections in the presence of COVID certificates

ProCert and SQS have published a fourth version of their protection concept for the performance of management system and product certification audits.

The current edition of the protection concept specifies the procedure for the conduct of audits when the participating persons have a COVID certificate (Chapter 5).

The document is available for download here.

Standard ISO 21001:2018

ProCert has been successfully accredited according to the international standard "Management systems for educational organizations" (ISO 21001:2018) as of 1 April 2021.

The SAS reviewed our management system in detail and confirmed on the occasion of an accompanied audit last year that we are now able to carry out this standard under accredited conditions.

This standard is intended as a successor standard to ISO 29990. Our education contact persons will be happy to provide you with further information.

This standard is intended for all types of educational organizations.

ProCert tool for self-assessment in food safety culture

The requirement for a food safety culture is now a legal obligation in the EU. Regulation (EU) 2021/382 of 3 March 2021, which includes requirements in the field of food safety culture, entered into force on 24 March.

The ProCert management has created a tool based on a self-assessment with 12 key questions that companies can use free of charge in their organisation. With these questions, supported by concrete implementation examples and possible consequences in case of insufficient implementation, they will quickly get an overview of the situation in their organisation.

The purpose of this self-assessment is to get companies thinking about how to implement an effective food safety culture.

This tool can be downloaded from the ProCert website, under Downloads. It also contains a large number of questions and answers, which have also been published on the ProCert website under the new FAQ section, Food Safety Culture.

  • 17.02.2021

Adaptation of the Protection concept of certification bodies for audits and inspections during the Covid-19 pandemic

ProCert and SQS have published a new version of their protection concept for the performance of management system and product certification audits.

The third edition of the protection concept has been adapted concerning additional measures for the protection of the auditor's health (Chapter 1) and the overhead costs (Chapter 2).

The purpose of this protection concept for audits and inspections is to describe measures for the protection of the auditor (also in audit teams and for witnessers or observers) and the employees of the company, in addition to the requirements issued by authorities, companies and other stakeholders.

  • 10.02.2021

ProCert Belgium is moving!

At ProCert, we are recognised as professionals with high quality standards.

As such, we have sought to host ProCert Belgium in a location that is in line with our values. The Bluepoint Liège building met all our requirements in terms of location and the quality of the services offered.

Our new address: ProCert SA, 191 Boulevard Emile de Laveleye, 4020 Liège.

Our e-mail address remains unchanged: Our phone number: +32475483755.

For more information, visit our International page.

  • 04.02.2021

Renewal of accreditation ISO 17021 for the field of management systems

After several days of audits carried out in July and September 2020 by the auditors and experts of the Swiss Accreditation Service SAS, ProCert was re-accredited in January 2021 to conduct audits and carry out accredited certifications in the field of management systems.

A re-accreditation audit is carried out every 5 years, followed by annual surveillance audits and supplemented by numerous witnessing audits. ProCert has been accredited in the field of management systems since 1997, which represents seven consecutive re-accreditation cycles.

The accreditation and quality management system responsibility for the two areas of management systems and product certification lies with the management. This involvement and commitment are part of ProCert's corporate culture.

We are proud to have passed this audit, a success that we owe essentially to the relentless efforts of our auditors. They are committed to the values of ProCert every day, sometimes under difficult conditions, always focusing on delivering exemplary work.

You can consult the SAS certificate here. The detailed register of accredited standards is available here.

Concerning the field of product certification, the next re-accreditation audit is planned for this autumn.

Publication of the new IFS Food Version 7

IFS – International Featured Standards has announced the publication of the new IFS Food Version 7.

IFS Food is a worldwide acknowledged standard for assessing food manufacturers with a strong focus on food safety and the quality of processes and products.

The new version of this standard gives more clarity about what is expected from auditors when they perform an IFS Assessment. The requirements now have a more prescriptive nature, and the new structure makes it easier to work with the standard. More emphasis has been put on the on-site evaluation and less on documentation. The assessment checklist has been aligned with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements version 2020.1, FSMA, and EU regulations.

For more information, please check our FAQ section and our training program.

New BRCGS registration fees

Certain BRCGS registration fees will be modified as of 1 August 2020.

This change concerns in particular the service package rates applicable to the Core Schemes (Food Safety, Packaging Materials, Agents & Brokers, Storage & Distribution and Retail), whose fee will increase from 590 EUR to 640 EUR from 1 August 2020.

The fee for certificate extension up to 6 months will be 320 EUR from 1 August 2020.

BRCGS Product Certification Programs

The BRCGS has published two product certification programs:

  • Gluten Free Certification Program 
  • Plant-Based Global Standard

These programs are open to any food processing company and allow the use of specific logos on the packaging of certified products.

You can consult the details of these programs under https://www.brcgs.com/brcgs/gluten-free-certification-program/ and https://www.brcgs.com/brcgs/plant-based-global-standard/.

If you are interested, please contact your account manager or the BRC Survey Officer.