As the owner or operator of a small to mid-sized food processing company, you are likely always seeking affordable, cutting-edge packaging solutions that work for you to showcase your brand, and address to the needs of your customers. Achieving this objective is not always easy, especially if you are focused on complying with industry rules and regulations.
One of the most significant challenges facing food processing companies?
Keeping foods free of contaminants is vital to food processors regardless of whether you sell directly to consumers, or provide ingredients to companies that use them in their food products.
When foods become unsafe, and people are harmed, the word can spread quickly, and your brand image could be tarnished indefinitely. What’s more, you could face any one of a number of penalties. Consequences for failure to comply with industry regulations include:
• The FDA may issue a warning letter outlining key violations and required changes
• A facility may be asked to recall a product voluntarily
• The agency can mandate a product recall
• A facility's registration could be withdrawn
• A permanent injunction could be sought against the facility
Because food safety is paramount, concerns about packaging quality and compliance by necessity extend beyond compliance of your products' packaging. Your products’ safety requires your vigilance to assure your inbound packaging is of consistently high quality and availability, your raw materials, like meats and seasoning, are also packaged in a manner to keep the products safe, and that your facilities remain GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) compliant. It’s a big job.
Food safety regulations and guidelines are abundant, and they are continually changing. Moreover, while regulations provide benefits, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Issues at any point can present significant challenges to food manufacturers. The situation becomes even more complicated when there are co-packers involved.
Food safety compliance requires:
- Maintaining proper documentation and paperwork
- Access to designers and packaging engineers who can design and specify compliant packaging, custom to your unique product
- Managing packaging quality across multiple suppliers
- Finding the time to achieve sales goals while monitoring the above issues
Whether you subscribe to SQF (Safe Quality Food), BRC, ISO 2200 or other food safety scheme, it’s likely some manner of GFSI compliance is keeping you up at night, and costing you money.
How can a food packaging specialist help mitigate these challenges?
Rapidly changing regulatory restrictions, selection of the best packaging materials, and supply chain visibility are all issues that a food packaging specialist can help mitigate. Food packaging specialists are in step with the latest regulations to provide peace of mind to food processing companies by making their customers’ compliance a top priority. When you work with a Food Packaging Specialist regulatory compliance is simplified. Here's how:
1) They identify, engineer and design the proper materials to protect your product
Selection of the proper materials is the cornerstone of food packaging safety. The right packaging will protect and promote the product, enable product safety during transportation, and maximize shelf life, so the food is fresh when it is ultimately consumed. Food Packaging Specialists thoroughly assess your packaging requirements and design and engineer a package that balances food protection with a food manufacturer’s brand, and customer, social and environmental considerations.
2) They ensure that packaging materials adhere to GFSI guidelines
Big companies often have entire departments devoted to assuring the company is GFSI compliance. Not so for the midsized food processors who are tasked with the same level of diligence to protect their brand, avoid potentially devastating food safety-related recalls and expenses, and keep their consumers safe.
A food packaging specialist does more than facilitate compliance and recommend packaging materials. They provide and keep current Letters of Guarantee for all primary packaging. They help you reduce food safety risks by improving and monitoring packaging efficiency, effectiveness, and conformance to GFSI guidelines.
3) They monitor third-party programs to ensure adherence to GFSI guidelines
It is the responsibility of manufacturing facilities to make sure that their third-party materials suppliers and packagers comply with GFSI packaging requirements. Failure to adequately monitor third-party providers' compliance with GFSI guidelines can result in financial penalties and loss of market share for food processing companies. A food packaging expert can evaluate packaging up and down a food processor’s supply chain, providing guidance to your third-party suppliers and monitoring their practices to ensure compliance. In addition, they can develop materials specifications and survey documents for all packaging materials and 3rd party suppliers on your behalf.
4) They provide helpful visibility and security throughout the packaging supply chain
A top packaging specialist will have the expertise and resources to map a food manufacturer's entire supply chain and make sure all operators comply with industry requirements.
Transparency within the supply chain is key to ensuring packaging is compliant with safety, social responsibility, and sustainability requirements. A Food Packaging Specialist can detect inefficiencies and flaws in the packaging supply chain proactively so they can be addressed swiftly.
5) They provide supplier quality management and inventory management services
Food Packaging Specialists eliminate a food processor’s need to manage supplier quality on a case-by-case basis. They can act as the single point of contact for all of your packaging needs, freeing you to focus on building your brand. They simplify supplier management and ensure alignment with your strategies, product protection, and safety goals.
What’s more, the top Food Packaging Specialists provide a host of inventory related services like inventory management, and vendor consolidation services, that keep compliance high while enhancing service delivery, and your cash flow.
What is the single best way to prevent food packaging compliance issues?
There are many benefits of working with a dedicated food packaging specialists. Their expertise will simplify compliance, maximize quality improvement strategies and pave the way for superb food packaging.