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Study shows certification delivers competitive advantage, efficiency and innovation

A report provides clear evidence that the business benefits of BRCGS certification are on a scale greater than expected – and extend beyond food safety to improved business performance.

7 March 2022

A new report provides clear evidence that certification to BRCGS standards generates extensive and positive business impacts for food business operators (FBOs), as well as the brands or retailers that specify them within their supply chains.

Although this effect has widely been assumed within the industry, there has previously been a lack of hard evidence on the economic and operational benefits to either certificated food business operators (FBOs) or in the wider supply chain.

Now, a comprehensive report published by researchers at Birkbeck, University of London has stated that the business benefits of BRCGS certification are on a scale greater than typically expected.

The economic impact for sites operating to BRCGS Certification

Additional operational and business innovation benefits

In their report ‘The Economic Impact for Manufacturing Sites Operating to BRCGS Certification’, the Birkbeck researchers point out that this is particularly notable. Not least because the standards were primarily developed by BRCGS to ensure the production and distribution of safe food – and not with the objectives of business growth, profitability, operational efficiency and innovation in mind.

Top-line benefits revealed by the study include:

  • 55% of respondents experienced increased sales having gained certification to BRCGS (compared with only 44% of respondents with other certification).

  • 28% report increased profitability resulting from BRCGS certification and the associated investments and adaptations.

  • 70% of respondents stated that changes in production methods required for BRCGS certification had led to efficiencies and greater productivity.

  • 40% reduction in food recalls reported by respondents since achieving BRCGS certification.

  • 5% average sales growth for BRCGS-certified businesses.

  • 6% average increased profitability for BRCGS-certified businesses.

55% of respondents experienced increased sales having gained certification to BRCGS

A huge impact on an increasingly important market

In recent years, food certification has become a key requirement to gain consumer confidence and ensure food safety across various stages in the supply chain. The global food certification market is forecast to grow(1) due to its applicability to a wide range of food products, increased health and ethical consciousness among consumers, and increasingly complex supply chains. As a result, food manufacturers and suppliers are actively seeking industry-recognised certifications.

BRCGS’s food safety standard was the first to be benchmarked. Now in its 8th edition, with the 9th edition to be published later this year, the standard has evolved to meet the needs of industry and to protect the consumer.

Today, BRCGS standards are used by over 30,000 sites in 130 countries. They are accepted (2) by:

  • 70% of the top 10 global retailers

  • 60% of the top 10 quick-service restaurants

  • 50% of the top 25 manufacturers

BRCGS certified FBOs impact on at least US$800bn(3) of food retail sales. Even more impressively, this is a figure that excludes the significant sales made in the quick-service restaurant sector.

Clear evidence of positive all-round advantages

The extensive nature of the Birkbeck study has finally enabled BRCGS to evidence the performance effects for FBOs of implementing certification – benefits that have long been suspected but have now been clearly demonstrated and quantified.

The research has documented the widespread effects and reach on multiple aspects of the business operations and performance of FBOs worldwide – with nearly all respondents reporting at least one positive impact from BRCGS certification.

While there are broad similarities in impact with other certification programmes, manufacturers with BRCGS certification experience a marginally greater impact on performance across most indicators.

Find out how BRCGS delivers value to certificated sites

Gaining a competitive advantage in today's economy is a must. The Birkbeck report outlines how BRCGS helps its certificated sites do this, whilst providing greater supply chain assurance.

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Citation sources

1 Food Certification Market – Global Growth to 2025, MarketsandMarkets, 2020. 2 Source: Deloitte, QSR Magazine. 3 Source: BRCGS internal calculations.

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