IAF members have endorsed the non-profit Foundation FSSC 22000’s Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 scheme as a sub-scope of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). An MLA Agreement between IAF and Foundation FSSC 22000 was signed by Xiao Jianhua, IAF Chair, and Aldin Hilbrands, Foundation FSSC 22000’s Director General, on March 12, 2021.
The FSSC 22000 scheme outlines requirements for the audit and certification of food safey management systems (FSMS) or FSMS and quality management systems (QMS) for organizations in the food supply chain. Based on ISO/IEC 17021-1 and ISO/TS 22003, it provides the standard and framework for independent, recognized third party management system certification of animal farming, food, feed, biochemicals and packaging (materials) manufacturing, transport and storage, catering and retail/wholesale organizations. FSSC 22000 has been benchmarked and recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative since 2010.
Certification bodies (CBs) operating under Version 5 or higher of FSSC 22000 must be accredited by an accreditation body recognized under the IAF MLA for the Level 2 scope of management system certification. This provides assurance that CBs can be trusted to deliver reliable, consistent and unbiased results. The inclusion of the FSSC 22000 scheme in the IAF MLA means that IAF MLA signatories recognized for the FSSC 22000 sub-scope will recognise as equivalent the certificates issued by CBs accredited by all other signatories of the FSSC 22000 sub-scope. The current status of the IAF MLA is published in the IAF MLA Status document.
“One of IAF’s goals is to protect consumers, including from unsafe food, by harmonizing the application of scheme rules and standards and enabling the trade of products made by organizations certified by accredited certification bodies,” said Xiao Jianhua, IAF chair. “Accreditation adds an additional layer of security to the food supply chain, helping consumers trust that their food is safe and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“At FSSC we are honored to see the FSSC 22000 Scheme endorsed by the IAF Members as a sub-scope of the IAF MLA. Ensuring food safety demands international cooperation and this MLA is a clear demonstration of food safety being a shared responsibility where accreditation is key in supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” according to Aldin Hilbrands, director general of the Foundation FSSC 22000. “Providing trust to the consumer goods industry is what drives FSSC and the endorsement supports us in that mission.”