A certification is a declaration by a third-party authority that a company has met specific quality standards for products and processes. Although these standards are not mandatory, they represent an important and challenging goal that the company aims to achieve as an assurance for customers and consumers of the safety and quality of its products and processes.
Companies wishing to operate in today’s global market must equip themselves with the tools to meet the needs and demands of different customers, cultures and markets. That is why at Menz & Gasser we have worked to earn the certifications – for our kosher and halal ranges, for example – that enable us to bring our quality products to new consumers while respecting their religious customs and traditions.
The new BRC 7 standard introduces a series of new aspects to keep on top of. It aims for a clearer definition of the requirements for suppliers, traceability, workplace hygiene and cleanliness, labelling, packaging, pest control and a new certificate classification. “AA” is the highest certification level introduced in the new issue of the standard.
IFS is a food standard that the main French and German distributors now comply with. It is a private standard, created as a common tool to assess suppliers of branded food products, based on transparency, food safety, quality and legal compliance applied to the entire production chain.
The company has adopted this voluntary standard to establish, implement and enhance its environmental management system. The certification confirms that the company’s management system can keep the environmental impact of its activities under control and that the company is systematically seeking to improve in a consistent, effective and above all sustainable manner.
HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is a method for analysing the hazards and identifying the critical control points (CCP) in a food production process. It provides a systematic framework for ensuring food safety. ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is the largest global organization developing and publishing international standards. It comprises a network of national standards bodies in 162 countries, coordinated from the Geneva headquarters.
ISO is a non-governmental organization that builds bridges between the public and private sectors.
Organic farming is the certified production of foods through environmentally friendly processes that ensure animal welfare. Every food classed as “organic”, “eco” or “bio” featuring the EU logo or a national or private organic logo must be produced in line with strict European Union crop control rules. Only authorized substances may be used, and special procedures are required during each process.
At Menz & Gasser, we personally inspect our organic crops through regular audits on suppliers and intermediaries; we also analyse and counter-analyse 100% of incoming fruit supplies. Organic foods must be free of artificial flavours, flavour enhancers, colourants and sweeteners. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are banned in organic food and its preparation.
Fairtrade® is a global organization that seeks better living conditions for farmers and agricultural workers. It provides an alternative approach to traditional trade, in a partnership between producers and consumers. Producers are offered opportunities and fairer deals, while as consumers, we all gain a powerful way to help reduce poverty through our everyday shopping.
“Halal” is an Arabic term meaning “allowed” or “lawful”. Halal certification shows that products, services and industrial processes, including packaging, comply with the ethical and hygiene rules under the law and doctrine of Islam. Muslims cannot consume food without halal certification. Therefore, this certification is mandatory in order to export to Muslim-majority countries, which are now home to around 2 billion consumers worldwide.
The term kosher refers to the set of religious dietary laws for observant Jews: the Hebrew word “kasher” or “kosher” means “fit” or “lawful”.
For a product to be certified kosher, it must meet rigorous quality standards. All the production and packaging procedures – and each individual ingredient used to prepare it – must comply with the strict Kashrut laws. These standards are a safeguard for consumers of all religions and none, while making kosher certification a quality mark recognized the world over.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder affecting genetically predisposed people after consumption of gluten. Coeliac disease is the commonest of all food intolerances, affecting an estimated 1% of the population. There should therefore be about 600,000 coeliacs in Italy, although only 172,197 have actually been diagnosed (at 31.12.2014).
According to AIC, Associazione Italiana Celiachia (=Celiac Disease Italian Association), a product may claim to be gluten-free only if its gluten content is at most 20 mg/kg.