Food Certifications for export worldwide

Food certification when exported is a guarantee of compliance and safety. It ensures that products meet the standards of the destination country, thus ensuring consumer confidence and access to global markets. Explore their strategic advantages and importance in the food trade.

What is food certification for the export world ?

Food export certification ensures that food products meet the standards and regulations of the destination country. This ensures food safety and compliance with the specific requirements of the foreign market. It may include certifications such as ISO 22000 and others specific to the product type and regulations of the target country.

This compliance certification offers benefits such as improved brand reputation, access to new international markets and increased consumer confidence. It is essential to ensure the normative conformity of food products for export.

International food certification programs recognized by GFSI

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a global collaboration launched in 2000 by food safety specialists from the distribution, production and service sectors. Its goal is to establish a comprehensive standard for food safety management, which aims to build confidence in safe food distributed globally.

It does not certify organizations, but it determines the food safety certifications it accepts or recognizes.

GFSI recognizes a total of 11 certification programs as equivalent to its food safety requirements and adapted to different actors and products in the agri-food sector. These certifications are designed to help companies comply with regulations, meet customer expectations, stand out in the market but above all to bring safety and quality to consumers' plates. These programmes cover various aspects of the food supply chain, from agricultural production to final distribution.

Programs recognized by GFSI include :

BRCGS Certification : Global Food Security

The BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety remains a critical pillar of supplier due diligence and approval around the world. Originally developed in 1998 by the British Retail consortium, this standard has seen continuous improvements thanks to the collaboration of international supply chain stakeholders. Today, it represents an international standard integrating the latest advances and practices in food safety, benefiting from the recognition of the Global Food Safety Initiative which is the GFSI.

FSSC 22000 Certification

Agri-food companies seeking to demonstrate their commitment to food safety and access international markets can obtain FSSC 22000 certification, recognized by the GFSI.

IFS Food Certification

The IFS Food certification focuses on food safety and quality in accordance with IFS Food requirements. Incorporating the principles of HACCP, it also involves compliance with good manufacturing practices and control of risks related to food fraud. Aimed at food manufacturers, processors and packagers, it is based on audits of accredited certification bodies, focusing on traceability, transparency, quality management, and social and environmental responsibility.

SQF Certification (Safe Quality Food)

The SQF (Safe Quality Food) certification is designed to ensure food safety and quality, according to the SQF code guidelines. This program integrates HACCP principles, good hygiene practices, quality management, and social and environmental responsibility. It promotes traceability and transparency in food production through rigorous verification.

GlobalGAP Certification : Global Sustainable Agriculture

GlobalGAP (Good Agricultural Practice) certification, focused on sustainable agriculture globally, defines responsible farming practices. This certification becomes an essential indicator for companies wishing to source responsibly and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

PrimusGFS Certification (Primus Group Food Safety)

PrimusGFS certification, a GFSI standard recognized by buyers in the Western Hemisphere, is constantly evolving to meet the growing demands for food safety. Its integrated approach certifies farm and warehouse operations in a single audit, saving time and money, and is recognized in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America by SCS Global Services, approved by Azzule Systems.

BAP Certification (Best Aquaculture Practices)

Aquaculture producers committed to sustainable and responsible production can obtain the BAP certification, recognized by the GFSI. The BAP guarantees consumers that the aquatic products they buy come from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources.

CanadaGAP certification

For Canadian producers of food products of animal origin, CanadaGAP certification represents a double advantage. On the one hand, it demonstrates their commitment to food safety, a crucial aspect for consumer confidence. On the other hand, it facilitates access to international markets by meeting the requirements and standards of many countries.

GlobalGAP Certification for Aquaculture

GlobalGAP certification for Aquaculture is an international program that aims to ensure sustainable and responsible practices in fish farming and other aquatic products. It is based on strict standards that cover the entire supply chain, from production to processing and distribution. By obtaining GlobalGAP certification, producers can demonstrate their commitment to food safety, environmental protection and animal welfare.

HACCP Certification (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)

The HACCP certification program is dedicated to food safety. Based on risk analysis and critical control points, this certification identifies, assesses and prevents biological, chemical and physical risks. Open to all agri-food stakeholders, regardless of their size or activity, it is validated by independent certification bodies.

ISO 22000 Certification

ISO 22000 certification ensures food safety by following HACCP principles integrated with good hygiene practices, effective resource management and interactive communication. It targets all organisations in the food chain and is based on audits carried out by accredited certification bodies, thus ensuring the planning, implementation, validation and continuous improvement of safe products.

International food certification programs not recognized by GFSI

While the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) does not formally recognize the following certifications, they can still bring value to businesses and consumers :

AB Certification (Organic Agriculture): Respect for nature worldwide

The Organic Agriculture (AB) certification focuses on organic farming practices, creating opportunities in the global market for environmentally friendly food products. Its significant impact on international trade makes it an unavoidable standard, as it is in demand all over the world under various other names :

  • USDA Organic Certification (Organic Farming) : USDA Organic certification ensures organic farming practices that meet US standards. Intended for those who produce, process, distribute or import plant and animal products, it is based on inspections carried out by certified agents.
  • COR Certification (Canadian Organic Regime) : This certification ensures that production is organic, following Canadian standards. It concerns producers, processors, distributors and importers of food of plant or animal origin, and is based on verifications by accredited certification entities.
  • JAS Certification (Japanese Agricultural Standard) : The JAS certification program certifies compliance with Japanese standards for organic farming. Open to producers, processors, distributors, and importers, it is based on inspections conducted by registered certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Tunisia : This certification certifies compliance with organic farming practices according to Tunisian standards, aligned with European requirements. It targets producers, processors, distributors and importers, with controls carried out by accredited certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Turkey : Certification in Turkey confirms the adoption of organic production methods that comply with Turkish national standards. It is intended for actors in the food chain of plant and animal products, and is based on controls by accredited certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Brazil : The Organic Agriculture Certification program in Brazil ensures that organic production meets Brazilian standards, aligned with those of the European Union. Intended for all actors in the production and distribution chain of agricultural and food products, both plant and animal, this certification is based on the evaluation of competent certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - China : In China, the Organic Agriculture Certification guarantees compliance with national organic standards, equivalent to those of the European Union, for producers, processors, distributors and importers of agricultural and food products.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - South Korea : The Organic Farming Certification in South Korea aims to ensure production in accordance with national organic standards, parallel to those of the EU. It targets different stakeholders in the agri-food sector, from production to importation, and is based on audits conducted by authorised certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Chile : The Chilean Organic Farming Certification Program aims to ensure compliance with national standards, similar to those of the EU, in organic production. Addressed to producers, processors, distributors and importers of agricultural and food products, it is based on the examination of recognized certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Mexico : The Organic Agriculture Certification in Mexico ensures that organic production complies with national standards, comparable to those of the European Union. This program, intended for the entire agri-food chain, is based on certification controls conducted by officially approved organizations.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Peru : The certification Organic Agriculture of Peru ensures that agricultural and food products, whether of plant or animal origin, are produced in accordance with the national organic standards of Peru, aligned with those of the European Union. This program is intended for producers, processors, distributors and importers. It is based on verifications by authorized certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Serbia : Intended to ensure organic production in accordance with Serbian national standards, parallel to those of the European Union, The Organic Agriculture certification of Serbia is aimed at the various actors in the chain of production and distribution of agricultural and food products of plant or animal origin. Controls are carried out by accredited certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - India : In India, the Organic Agriculture certification is implemented to confirm the compliance of agricultural and food products with national organic standards, equivalent to those of the European Union. This programme covers producers, processors, distributors and importers and is based on evaluation by competent certification bodies.
  • Organic Agriculture Certification - Colombia : This Colombian program certifies that agricultural and food production processes comply with Colombia’s organic standards, aligned with those of the European Union. It is open to producers, processors, distributors, and importers of plant and animal products, and relies on inspections conducted by accredited certification bodies.

MSC COC Certification (Marine Stewardship Council)

The Marine Stewardship Council’s MSC COC (Chain of Custody) certification aims to ensure sustainable fishing, according to MSC principles focused on the conservation of fish populations, reducing environmental impact and effective fisheries management. It concerns fishermen, processors, distributors and retailers of marine products, and is based on audits conducted by accredited certification bodies.

ASC COC Certification (Aquaculture Stewardship Council)

The ASC COC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certification aims to develop responsible aquaculture. Based on respect for aquatic ecosystems, this certification reduces the environmental and social impact while ensuring effective management of aquaculture farms. Intended for aquaculturists, processors, distributors and retailers of aquatic products, it is based on audits carried out by accredited entities.

AquaGAP Certification

The AquaGAP (Aquaculture Good Aquaculture Practice) certification aims for sustainability in aquaculture, respecting strict environmental and social criteria. It is intended for producers of aquatic species and guarantees the quality and traceability of products. Audits are carried out by accredited certifiers.

GOTS Certification (Global Organic Textile Standard)

GOTS (Global Organice Textile Standard) certification promotes sustainable textile production. By respecting strict environmental and social criteria, such as the use of organic natural fibres and the reduction of the ecological impacts of production, it also guarantees respect for workers' rights. It concerns textile producers, processors, distributors and retailers, with inspections carried out by accredited certifiers.

OCS Certification (Organic Content Standard)

The OCS Certification (Organic Content Standard) ensures that textiles contain certified organic materials in accordance with the OCS standards. This standard controls the biological origin of fibres, guarantees traceability, manages quality, and oversees labelling and communication practices. Designed for textile producers, processors, distributors and retailers, the program requires inspections by accredited certification entities.

RSPO Certification (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Certification focuses on the sustainable production of palm oil. It respects the principles and criteria of the RSPO for the preservation of biodiversity, the minimization of environmental and social impacts, and the effective management of plantations and mills. This program targets producers, processors, distributors and retailers of palm oil products, requiring audits by accredited certification bodies.

What are the strategic benefits of obtaining food certification for your supply chain?

Improvement of product quality and consistency

Obtaining food certification is synonymous with a commitment to quality. The strict standards imposed by these certifications guide all production processes, ensuring consistent product quality. This translates into increased consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

Easier access to international markets

Food certifications play an essential role as key requirements for access to international markets. They function as passes, simplifying global business transactions. Their importance lies in their ability to meet international standards, positioning your supply chain favorably on the global stage.

These certifications are not only guarantees of compliance, but also strategic assets that strengthen the credibility of your products in global markets, opening significant business opportunities.

Strengthening consumer confidence

Consumer confidence remains a cornerstone in the food industry. Get an in-depth look at how acquiring food certification helps build that trust. These certifications become symbols of quality, safety and social responsibility, raising the credibility of your brand. By demonstrating a commitment to high standards, your business sets itself up as a reliable choice for consumers, which can translate into increased loyalty and sustained market attractiveness.

Reducing risks to food security

Food safety remains a top priority in the food industry. Food certification offers significant benefits by enhancing this security, acting as a robust bulwark against potential health risks to consumers. These standards establish rigorous protocols, ensuring that products meet strict regulatory standards.

Obtaining these certifications demonstrates your company’s strong commitment to food safety, building consumer trust and reducing potential legal risks. It also ensures continued compliance with international health standards, strengthening your company’s position in the global market.

Process optimization and operational efficiency

Obtaining food certification goes beyond mere compliance. These standards act as catalysts for optimizing processes and improving operational efficiency within the company. By implementing the requirements of these certifications, the organization establishes more efficient processes, thus contributing to lower operational costs, less waste and more efficient management of resources.

This systematic approach strengthens the quality of operations, while promoting informed decision-making. The commitment to these standards thus becomes a proactive strategy to boost the overall performance of the food supply chain.

Differentiation in the competitive market

In a saturated market, where differentiation is crucial, food certification is proving to be a powerful tool. It positions your supply chain as a player committed to quality, sustainability and responsibility. This certification attracts consumers who care about their choices, strengthening your positioning in the competitive market.

Adaptability to market trends

In a context of rapidly changing market trends, food certification plays a crucial role in providing adaptability to emerging changes. It makes it possible to quickly adjust practices to meet new consumer preferences, thus ensuring the continued relevance of your offer in the constantly changing market.

How to apply for food certification for export ?

Identification of applicable standards

Before starting the food certification process, it is essential to identify the standards applicable to your sector and target market. Standards such as BRC, GlobalG.A.P., or SQF may be industry-specific. A thorough analysis of these standards will allow you to choose the one that best suits your business and export goals.

Preparation and compliance with requirements

Once the standards have been identified, preparation for certification requires rigorous compliance with the specific requirements of each standard. This may involve adjustments in production processes, supplier tracking, risk management, and other areas. Careful documentation of all procedures is crucial to demonstrate compliance during the audit.

Choice of a certification body

Food certification is usually carried out by accredited third-party organizations. Choosing the right certification body is a crucial step. Look for internationally recognized organizations with expertise in your sector. Their reputation and accreditation are key indicators of their credibility.

Audit and evaluation

Once the application is submitted, the certification body will conduct a thorough audit of your supply chain. This audit may include on-site assessments, desk reviews and interviews. The objective is to verify compliance with all requirements specified in the selected standard.

Continued Compliance

Food certification is not static, it requires an ongoing commitment to compliance. Certified organizations must maintain robust quality management systems, be prepared for periodic audits and remain informed of updates to standards.

Benefits of certification for export

Once certified, your company will benefit from enhanced credibility in international markets. Food certification facilitates access to new markets and strengthens the confidence of trading partners. It can also be a significant competitive advantage in a global business environment.

Which products require food certification for export ?

The need for food certification for export depends on the type of food product, the regulations of the destination country and market expectations. Here are some product categories that commonly require food certification :

Fresh and perishable products

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables : When exporting fresh fruits and vegetables, certifications ensure compliance with strict health standards, thus ensuring the quality and freshness of products throughout the supply chain.
  • Seafood : Seafood certifications, such as MSC, demonstrate a commitment to sustainable fishing practices, contributing to the preservation of the oceans and the satisfaction of environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Dairy : Dairy sector certifications cover milk quality, processing practices and health standards, thus ensuring consumers a source of safe and high quality dairy products.

Processed products

  • Packaged food : The export of packaged food requires certifications attesting to compliance with packaging, food safety and labelling standards, ensuring that consumers receive products that are packaged in a safe manner and comply with international regulations.
  • Bakery and pastry products : Certifications in this field confirm the use of quality ingredients, hygienic manufacturing methods and compliance with food safety standards, strengthening consumer confidence in the freshness and quality of bakery products.
  • Processed meat products : Certifications for processed meat products ensure product quality and safety, covering aspects such as meat origin, processing processes and food safety standards.

Speciality foods

  • Organic products : The export of organic products requires organic certifications that ensure compliance with organic agricultural standards, thus meeting the growing demand of consumers for environmentally friendly products.
  • Foods for specific diets : Certifications for gluten-free, vegan, etc., attest to compliance with specific requirements, allowing consumers to make food choices based on their particular dietary needs.
  • Niche or traditional products : Certifications for these products often confirm their authenticity, their traditional way of production, and meet a growing demand from consumers looking for unique and culturally significant products.

Drinks

Fruit juices and soft drinks

Certifications such as HACCP for fruit juices ensure food safety, while others such as the Fair Trade Mark can attest to ethical business practices, thus addressing consumer concerns.

  • Alcoholic beverages : The export of alcoholic beverages requires certifications respecting the production and labelling standards specific to each type of drink (wine, beer, spirits), thus ensuring the quality and legality of the product.
  • Energy Drinks: Certifications for energy drinks may include standards related to food safety, active ingredients and health claims, providing consumers with assurance of the quality and safety of these products.

Food ingredients

  • Spices and seasonings : Certifications in this area often attest to the purity of spices, the absence of contaminants and sustainable practices, meeting the quality requirements of manufacturers and consumers.
  • Oils and fats : Certifications for oils and fats include standards for production, nutritional quality and traceability, thus ensuring the quality of ingredients used in food preparation.
  • Food additives : Certifications such as ISO 22000 may apply to food additive manufacturers, ensuring production that meets food safety and quality standards.

Prepared products

Prepared dishes

The export of prepared meals may require certification of food safety, quality of ingredients and compliance with specific regulations of the destination country.

  • Gourmet products : The certifications for gourmet products can guarantee the authenticity of ingredients, artisanal production methods and superior quality, meeting the expectations of consumers who love high quality products.
  • Confectionery and chocolates : Certifications for these products may cover aspects such as ethical practices related to cocoa cultivation, allergen-free manufacturing, and ingredient quality.

Children's products

  • Baby and toddler food : Certification in this area ensures the food safety and nutritional quality of baby and toddler food, meeting the strict standards for this vulnerable consumer group.
  • Children’s Snacks : Certifications for children’s snacks may include standards for nutritional content, absence of common allergens and food safety, providing parents with assurance of product quality.

What happens if my products do not pass food certification for export?

If your products fail to obtain the food certification required for export, several consequences can occur. First, your access to international markets may be restricted as many countries require specific certifications to ensure compliance with food standards. This could lead to trade barriers, transaction delays and potential financial losses.

Lack of certification can also affect the confidence of consumers and business partners. Food certification is often seen as a guarantee of quality, safety and compliance with international standards. In its absence, consumers may hesitate to buy your products and business partners may be reluctant to collaborate with your business.

Regulatory non-compliance with food certification requirements can result in sanctions and enforcement, which can have legal implications for your business. Regulatory authorities may impose fines, export bans or even the closure of non-compliant establishments.

La procédure classique

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

1

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

2

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

3

See Also

Voir également