Essex ingredient producers EDME have been celebrating success in a highly significant award. The company produces flours and flakes from locally-grown cereals, malted grains, seeds and pulses. Now they have been awarded the highest possible grade for an announced audit in the BRC (British Retail Consortium) global food standard award - for the third year running.
Major supermarkets require food and drink suppliers to be BRC accredited. Food manufacturers in turn require ingredient suppliers to be similarly accredited. Top ratings are clearly desirable.
Says Metin Fevzi, operations and technical director at EDME, “The whole supply chain has – quite rightly - come under much greater scrutiny in recent years. It’s not only retailers who need assurance about provenance and quality of food and ingredients: it’s consumers too. Food programmes, magazines, newspaper features, websites and social media have all kindled the interest and encouraged people to ask more questions about what they put into their mouths.
“Our AA rating from the BRC helps our competitive edge, sending positive cues to buyers in the bakery and food sectors – and to any shoppers delving into information about food and the supply chain.”
He praises the work carried out by the quality assurance team led by Renata Faldo, but agrees with her when she says,
“Although the quality team takes the lead when it comes to accreditation, quality is not something delivered by a few individuals. It’s dependent on commitment from everybody right across the company.
“Grain and seeds coming in from fields need meticulous cleaning before being milled into flour, rolled into flakes or chopped into kibbles. Then every step of processing, packaging, storing and delivery has to be scrupulously controlled and monitored.
“The culture here means that people are ultra-alert about what’s going on – and prepared to act if anything seems less than perfect.”
Her team works with every division, scrutinising departmental checks and controls, publishing data for internal use and supplying customers with relevant information.
“My team have to be fully aware of the bigger picture,” she says, “but equally the work revolves around detail – and is often highly forensic. It can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. The AA score from the BRC is fantastic third party endorsement. It’s massively reassuring for customers, a tribute to everyone at EDME, and a source of great pleasure to me and the quality team.”