After more than 18 months of development, the British Retail Consortium announced a new Global Agents and Brokers Standard. SGS UK awarded the first ever global standard for auditing and certifying agents and brokers in the food supply chain to Mardon, a frozen and bulk seafood supplier.

The BRC began to develop the standard following the horsemeat scandal in the UK, when it identified the weak link in the supply chain as the lack of traceability back to source for food products. The standard was written in consultation with retailers and certification bodies to ensure full transparency throughout the food supply chain.

Launched in March 2014, the new standard is one of five for companies in the food supply chain. The other BRC Global Standards cover areas such as food safety, consumer products, packaging and packaging materials, and storage and distribution.

“Agents and brokers play an essential role in the food supply chain,” says Jeremy Chamberlin, SGS product retail specialist. “Their work has a critical effect on the ability to trace where food comes from and how it is handled. This BRC Global Standard for Agents and Brokers will help them expand the reach of their business and demonstrate the high standards they maintain.”

Chamberlin also says the standard will ensure the traceability of food sources and prevent the type of recent scandals that damaged the reputation of the UK food supply chain.

David Brackston, technical director for BRC Global Standards, says, “The new BRC Agents and Brokers Standard provides an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for ensuring traceability, transparency and effective management of food safety in their activities and providing confidence to their customers. We congratulate Mardon on adopting the standard and their hard work and commitment to gain certification so quickly.”