Are you using the BRC logo? If you are – you need to read this!
So, I had a call from one of our lovely readers this week, who had been given probably the most harsh non-conformance I’ve come across. She is going to challenge the NCN with her certification body, but I thought we should probably all learn from it…
BRC Logo, new clause – 1.1.13
A new clause was put into issue 8 regarding the BRC logo. When you’re using the BRC logo you have to do so in accordance with the conditions of use – detailed by BRC.
What are the BRC logo conditions of use?
Well, that’s a really good question! The clause in the standard states that the conditionds are detailed in the audit protocol section of the standard – Part III, section 5.6 (page 79). Unfortunately for us though, this only tells you that “Information and conditions relating to the use of the Global Standards logo is available at www.brcglobalstandards.com”.
There are a few problems here.
You may have noticed that the BRC website looks different. This is because the BRC is no longer called the ‘British Retail Consortium’.
They have changed what BRC stands for – they are now called ‘Brand Reputation through Compliance’.Press release from BRC
Why they’ve done this, I’m not completely sure (to be honest I’m not that interested, I presume it’s business related) but it does cause a few problems…
Like the fact that the website link that they’ve quoted in the standard (www.brcglobalstandards.como) is now wrong. When you go to this, you get redirected to https://www.brcgs.com/
It also means their logo has changed, so any of you using it are now at risk.
What’s even more unfortunate is that neither the standard or the new website tells you how to find the new logo, if you want to use it.
So, the site that I spoke to this week, got a non-conformance against 1.1.13 as they were using the old BRC logo.
The auditor looked up their website the night before the audit and saw that they had the old logo, so they were on one NCN before the audit had even started!
The auditor gave them a non-conformance saying that they needed a procedure to make sure that the logo conformed to the conditions set out by BRC.
To make sure you are not at risk from this non-conformance. Here’s what you need to do. Don’t go searching in the standard or on the website for the instructions, as you won’t find them. (Apparently we need to mind read…)
- Go to https://brcdirectory.co.uk/
- In the very top right hand corner, in pale grey text, if you look closely you’ll see ‘Request Logo’
- Click that and you’ll be taken to this form: http://logo.brcdirectory.com/
- Fill in the form and submit it.
- Once registered the BRC will send you the information you need to make sure you have the right logo.
- Write this into your senior management commitment procedure.
As I can’t fill in the form, I don’t know how long it will take BRC to respond and I don’t know what they will send you. I imagine, that they won’t provide you with details of what to do if/when the logo changes in the future. So, I would imagine, you’ll need to put into your procedure, that you’ll fill in this form every year (just before your audit I would suggest) – in order to get the most up to date information about the logo.
Update: 10/04/2019 12:24
Since publishing this article, BRC have updated the form (step 3 above) to state “Clause 1.1.13 of Food Safety issue 8 – a non-conformity will not be given against clause 1.1.13 if an auditor identifies use of an old version of the BRCGS logo.”
So, we’ve been listened to and at least you won’t get an NCN for this now!
I really hope that they also look into their communication channels and try to improve that too!
Update: 13/08/2019 BRC have now stated that sites have until February 2020 to use the right logo. That’s not long if you have it on vehicles etc, so I’ve requested if this date still applies to these types of use. I’ll let you know when I hear back!
It’s a shame
It would seem the easiest way of not getting a non-conformance for this, is to not use the logo. Which is a shame, as that’s not what BRC would want. Your business using it, is essentially free marketing for them.
It’s frustrating that they make things like this so complicated.
Only today I’ve found a new position statement on their website, for BRC Packaging, which they have not communicated out – what’s the point of registering your email address, if they don’t email you with anything useful?
I hope BRC read this and do something about it…
Ok, rant over – sorry! If you’d like to have a rant, please do so in the reply box below – it may help them to listen to us!
BRC have now published their brand guidelines for logos, which can be found on their brand guidelines page: https://www.brcgs.com/resources/brcgs-brand-guidelines/
Or you can read the guidelines directly here: Brand Guidelines June 2019