BRCGS Plant-Based Certification

The BRCGS Plant Based Certification is an internationally recognized standard that guarantees the absence of genetically modified organisms in food and feed. Adopted by more than 22,000 sites in more than 130 countries, it meets a growing demand for GMO-free products, providing better traceability and transparency. This certification also opens up new business opportunities, especially in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

What is the BRCGS Plant-Based certification ?

The BRCGS Plant-Based certification validates the absence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or their derivatives in food or feed. Manufacturers, processors, packagers and distributors of these products can obtain this certification.

Based on BRCGS (Brand Reputation through Compliance of Global Standards), a global food safety and quality standard approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), this certification is adopted by more than 22,000 sites in more than 130 countries. It examines crucial aspects such as system management, food safety plan, site conditions, product management, process control and staff training.

To ensure GMO-free products certification, additional criteria must be met, including GMO-free policy, traceability, supplier verification, laboratory testing, labelling, physical separation and incident management.

Obtaining BRCGS Plant-Based certification helps companies comply with international regulations and meet growing consumer demand, particularly in Europe, the Middle East and North America, for non-GMO products. In short, it makes it possible to stand out in the market and expand business opportunities by meeting the requirements of customers and distributors looking for GMO-free products.

Which organisations offer the BRCGS Plant-Based certification ?

The BRCGS Plant-Based certification is granted by accredited and autonomous certification bodies. They carry out in-depth assessments on the places of activity of companies wishing to obtain this certification. For this, they must adhere to high standards of competence, impartiality and quality stipulated by BRCGS as well as by national and international accreditation authorities.

FoodChain ID

FoodChain ID, recognized for its expertise in GMO-free products, offers BRCGS Certified Plant-Based globally in more than 100 countries. This organisation supports companies from the beginning to the end of the certification process, providing consultancy, laboratory testing, supplier verification and training programmes. She is also the initiator of the Non-GMO Project, a voluntary certification initiative ensuring that feed and feed products are free of GMOs.

Bureau Veritas

Bureau Veritas, a global giant in the field of inspection, analysis and certification, also offers BRCGS Plant-Based certification, mainly in the Americas. It is distinguished by a team of competent and experienced auditors, who guide companies towards compliance with BRCGS standards and relevant local regulations. Bureau Veritas has been recognized with two major awards: Certification Body of the Year (BV SAS, 2022) and Auditor of the Year (BRCGS, 2021).

Other certification bodies

Other entities offer BRCGS Plant-Based certification, including the Food Control Board and Plant-Based Certification, also offering "GMO FREE" certification. These organizations must obtain accreditation in accordance with the requirements of the BRCGS and that of recognized accreditation entities, such as COFRAC in France or ANAB in the United States.

The BRCGS Plant-Based certification criteria specific to each sector of activity

The BRCGS Plant-Based certification covers all companies involved in the creation, processing, packaging or distribution of GMO-free food or feed, including its derivatives. The criteria for achieving this certification depend on the type of product, the level of risk associated with it and the target market. Here is an overview of the specific criteria by sector :

Food products

  • Compliance with local labelling laws, acceptable GMO limits and traceability.
  • Conducting laboratory tests to prove the absence of GMOs or their derivatives, using the PCR method or another similar approach.
  • Strict separation of non-GMO products from products containing them at all stages - storage, transport, and handling - to prevent contamination.

Pet Food

  • Compliance with local regulations regarding labelling, tolerances and traceability of GMOs.
  • Laboratory tests required to validate the absence of GMOs or their derivatives, based on the PCR method or a comparable method.
  • Guarantee of non-contamination by physical separation with GMO products at each phase of handling, storage and transport.
  • Adherence to the standards of the Non-GMO Project, a voluntary certification system affirming the absence of GMOs in feed and food from animals fed without GMOs.

Yvea, your ally in obtaining the BRCGS certification

Having expert partners in BRCGS Plant-Based certification, Yvea helps you choose the best partner to guide you from beginning to end in your certification application. We offer tailor-made solutions, adapted to your field, your objectives and your budget. Take advantage of our network of partners offering preferential conditions for your analyses, verification of your suppliers and your labelling needs. We assure you a fast, efficient and recognized certification by market leaders and consumers.

What are the steps to obtain BRCGS Plant-Based certification ?

Obtaining BRCGS Plant-Based certification involves a series of essential steps aligned with the requirements of the BRCGS standard, culminating in an audit by an accredited certification entity. The main steps are :

1. Download the standard and interpretation guidelines

Start by acquiring the BRCGS standard and its interpretation guidelines directly from the official BRCGS website. This documentation will inform the specific requirements of the standard and how to integrate them into your operations.

2. Contact a certification body

Next, select and contact an accredited certification body for BRCGS Plant-Based certification for a quote. The directory of accredited organizations is available on the BRCGS website. The chosen organization will detail the steps of the audit and the necessary documents to be provided.

3. Preparing for the audit

Prepare for the audit by developing a management system suitable for non-GMO products, in compliance with BRCGS standards. Use the self-assessment tool on the BRCGS website to measure your compliance. Do not hesitate to hire a consultant or participate in specialized training to better prepare yourself.

4. Perform the audit

The final step is the completion of the audit on your site by the chosen certification body. The audit consists of an evaluation of the documents, an on-site inspection, interviews of staff and samples for laboratory testing. The objective of the audit is to confirm compliance with the requirements of the BRCGS standard and the specific criteria for certification of Plant-Based products.

5. Obtain the certificate

The fifth step is obtaining the certificate following the successful completion of the audit. Within 42 days of the audit, the certification body will send you the audit report and the certificate. The latter, valid for 12 months, authorizes you to affix the BRCGS logo on your products and your communication tools.

How much does a GMO-free BRCGS certification cost ?

The cost of obtaining a BRCGS certification for Plant-Based products varies according to several criteria, including the size and sector of your company, the number of sites to be examined, and the duration and frequency of audits. In addition, the cost varies depending on the certification body chosen and the additional services you decide to subscribe to. There is no standard pricing for this certification, but it is possible to request a custom quote from the certification body of your choice.

In general, the cost of obtaining BRCGS Plant-Based certification is as follows :

  • The cost of the audit, influenced by the time spent by the auditor on site, the number of audit days, the auditor’s travel and accommodation expenses, and the auditor’s hourly rate.
  • The cost of certification itself, including the issuance of the certificate and its registration in the BRCGS database. This amount is set at £300 per certified site and is determined by the BRCGS.
  • The cost of laboratory tests, which vary according to the volume and nature of the samples to be analyzed, the method of analysis, the speed of the results and the choice of laboratory.
  • The costs of additional services such as consulting, training, supplier verification, labelling, etc., offered by the certification body or by third parties.

The total amount for a BRCGS Plant-Based certification can range from a few thousand to more than ten thousand euros on average, depending on the various factors mentioned. It is therefore essential to balance the proposals of various certification bodies to select the most cost- and quality-efficient offer. In addition, be aware that discounts can be applied if you subscribe to additional certifications, such as BRCGS Food Safety certification, gluten-free certification, etc.

How long does it take to obtain BRCGS Plant-Based certification ?

There is no standard time limit for obtaining BRCGS Plant-Based certification, as it depends on various factors such as the level of preparation of your company, the availability of the certification body, the duration of the audit and the processing of the audit report. The following steps are required:

Initial stage

Download the standard and interpretation guidelines from the BRCGS website. With a good internet connection, this step is fast, requiring only a few minutes.

Contact a certification body

Get a quote. Depending on availability and demand, this step can vary from a few days to a few weeks.

Prepare for the audit

Implement a safety and quality management system for non-GMO products. Depending on your current level of compliance with BRCGS and regulations, this may take several months.

Welcome the audit

On-site audit by the certification body. Depending on the size and type of your business, the number of sites to audit, and the complexity of your activities, it can take from one day to several.

Get the certificate

If the audit is successful, the certificate can take up to 50 days after the audit. This allows the certification body to finalize and validate the audit report before issuing the certificate. The BRCGS Plant-Based certification process may take a few months to over a year. Planning and expert support are recommended to ensure an efficient and optimized certification process.

Is there a renewal to be made regarding the BRCGS Plant-Based certification ?

The BRCGS certification for non-GMO products is valid for 12 months, calculated from the date of the initial audit. To keep this certification active, an annual renewal is mandatory. This involves the conduct of a new audit, carried out either by the original certification body or by another certified body. This renewal process must be initiated within 1 month of the anniversary of the initial audit.

This renewal is essential to ensure that the company maintains the standards defined by the BRCGS standard and the certification specific to non-GMO products. It also verifies the application of the necessary corrective actions resulting from any non-conformities identified during the previous audit.

In addition, the renewal process takes into account the latest updates to the BRCGS standard, in response to regulatory changes and the expectations of customers and consumers. The renewal process follows the same procedure as the initial audit, including downloading normative documents and interpretation guides, contacting a certification body, preparing for the audit, carrying out the audit on site, and finally, the receipt of the certificate. The renewal fee and duration depend on the same criteria as the initial audit.

These criteria include the size and type of business, the number of sites to be examined, the duration and frequency of audits, the choice of certification body, and any additional services required. Renewing the BRCGS certification for Plant-Based products is crucial to maintain the benefits related to this certification: compliance with legal requirements, distinction in the market, opening to new markets, customer and consumer confidence, and continuous improvement of the safety and quality of non-GMO products.

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

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