Essential certificates all food companies must have in order to be competitive

Food safety is fundamental in the agri-food sector. Such is the case that public health authorities monitor for compliance with the laws in effect to ensure all companies offer products that meet high standards of quality and food safety from the very beginning of the production chain all the way to consumption.

In fact, there are many different standards and certification programmes for the agri-food industry. The aim is to guarantee food is safe and suitable for eating.

The type of certification necessary depends on the company. In other words, each company must be in the possession of documentation proving compliance with certain standards. These standards may be based on the law with compliance mandatory in order to operate in the market; or voluntary where compliance gives the company more prestige and positions it above its competitors.

What follows are the essential food safety certificates agri-food companies must have based on the sector in which they operate.


Specific food certifications

There is a wide variety of certification programmes that help build trust among agents working in the agri-food sector. They also respond to consumer demands. In this context, all companies need these certificates in order to be competitive. They are also sometimes necessary in order to sell their products in certain markets as occurs with the FDA and the United States, for example.

Food Chain Safety

  • FSSC 22000 Food safety.
  • IFS Food safety.
  • BRC Food safety protocols.
  • ISO 22000 Food safety.
  • HACCP Hazard analysis and critical control points.
  • ISO 22005 Traceability.
  • SAE​ Products of animal origin for export.
  • CEPA and Pest management.


Fruit and Vegetable Sector

  • GLOBALGAP Good agricultural practices.
  • GLOBALGAP Social practice (GRASP).
  • GLOBALGAP Plant propagation material (PPM).
  • Tesco Nurture Fruit and vegetable suppliers.
  • Albert Heijn Fruit and vegetable suppliers.


Livestock Sector

  • Animal welfare at farms and slaughterhouses.
  • Guide to Good Hygiene Practices for Dairy Cows (INLAC​)​​​.
  • Production of animals free of antibiotics.
  • Duroc Labeling Self-Control Programme (PAED).
  • INTERPORC Animal welfare and biosecurity.


Food Packaging

  • EN 15593 Management of hygiene in the production of packaging for foodstuffs.
  • FSSC 22000 Food safety.
  • IFS Food safety.
  • BRC Food safety protocols.


Sustainable Food

  • Food Waste and Zero Residue.


Other food certifications

To confirm the absence of gluten, to protect Ibérico products and even preserve a traditional specialty like Serrano ham. There are all sorts of certification programmes that go beyond just food safety. The same is true for extra virgin olive oil and responsibly sourced tuna. Another similar case involves Non-GMO certification, which guarantees the ingredients in a product to be analysed are not genetically modified.

On the other hand, there are also certificates linked to religious beliefs such as Islam and Judaism. This is the case of the Halal seal. Halal is a quality guarantee process that certifies products do not include or contain anything considered illegal under Islamic law and that they have not been in direct contact with other foods which do not meet these requirements.

As for Judaism, the certification programme is known as Kosher. It proves that the finished products conform to the Jewish dietary regulations and, therefore, are considered pure and suitable for consumption by followers of this religion. The Kosher programme covers everything from the product composition and ingredients to the production process with a special focus on preparation as well as the cleanliness of the machinery used for such preparation.


The most common general certification programmes in the food industry

Certificates are not exclusive to the food sector. They exist and are required in all sectors. In fact, some certification programmes are common to many types of business. The following are the ones most widely implemented in the agri-food industry:



  • ISO 9001 Quality management​.
  • ISO 20000 IT services.
  • EFQM assessment.



  • ISO 45001​​ Occupational health and safety.



  • ISO 14001 Environmental management.
  • EMAS Regulation (EC) 1221/2009.
  • ISO 14064 Carbon footprint at the organization level (GHG Protocol and sector specifications).


Zero Residue

  • GlobalEPD​ ​​Environmental product declarations.


Energy Management

  • ISO 50001​ Energy management.


Good Governance and Compliance

  • UNE 19601 Management system for criminal compliance.



  • UNE 166002 R&D&i management.
  • UNE 166001​​ ​Requirements for R&D&i projects.


No Comments

Post A Comment