In late 2018, we began to pursue the FSSC 22000 certification as part of our plans to expand into Animal and Human probiotics.
To achieve this goal, we set in motion a 3 year project to expand and update our facility in accordance with the standards needed to become an FSSC 22000 certified company – happily, the facility is now complete.
A new compliance task force headed by Debbie Williams, Group Compliance Officer, also enabled us to build our own FSSC 22000 system and to ultimately achieve the certification we desired.
We’re delighted to announce that we have finally formally received our certification and are now officially FSSC 22000 certified!
To explore what was involved in this 3 year project, we sat down with Debbie to find out more…
So, what exactly is the FSSC 22000 certification?
The Food Safety System Certification, FSSC 22000, is an internationally accepted certification scheme based on a combination of ISO 22000 sector-specific PRP’s and FSSC additional requirements. The scheme has been developed in response to customer demands for a recognizable standard against which a food safety management system can be audited and certified.
The system has been designed to guarantee the safety of products during primary production of animal products, manufacture of perishable products, products with a long shelf life and other food ingredients such as additives, vitamins & bio-cultures and much more!
Why did Genesis Biosciences pursue the certification?
We take great pride in ensuring our systems and processes are validated and verified by independent certification bodies. We have held the ISO 9001 certification for many years which gives customers confidence in the quality of the products we offer and our integrity as a supplier. We wanted to apply the same philosophy to our food/feed probiotic production systems and processes.
Participation in FSSC 22000 year over year will ensure that our continual improvement efforts are enhanced through audits by highly trained 3rd party auditors.
Becoming an FSSC 22000 certified company underlines Genesis Biosciences’ commitment to quality, consistency and service. Food safety is important to the business and we want our customers to be confident the ingredients provided are produced to standards above and beyond government regulations.
What has been the biggest challenge along the way?
The global pandemic has of course had some implications and we were disappointed in 2020 when our certification process was affected – following our first successful Stage 1 audit we were unable to complete the process to Stage 2 within the required timescales. In the following months we were challenged further in completing the on-site portion of the audit due to the pandemic travel situation.
“This is a huge achievement for the company and I want to thank all the members of the compliance team for their diligence and hard work in achieving this goal on behalf of all of us at the business.”
Conrad Mielcuszny, CEO
Being based at our UK facility, for me personally the challenge was not being able to travel and visit our US site, again due to travel restrictions with the pandemic and having to effectively manage the project remotely. The team adapted to this new way of working and together, we worked to a successful conclusion.
The certification covers all areas of the business and the team in Lawrenceville worked incredibly hard ensuring that the FSSC 22000 standard requirements were understood within all departments and applied effectively to our systems and processes which all needed to be communicated well to put the facility in a great position to take to the external audit process.
Many infrastructure improvements were made so it’s certainly a challenge ensuring the business remains operational whilst the work has been carried out. The improvements were made to ensure we could make food/feed quality materials to the standards expected and the team were able to consistently produce high quality products during this period of improvement.
What does being an FSSC 22000 certified company mean for the team involved?
The compliance team put in place to manage the process have been key to driving this forward – but it really has taken a group effort across the board to ensure we meet the standards required.
It’s been a long road to get the certification with the delays mentioned above and I’m extremely proud of what we have all been able to achieve. The whole team should take pride in the work they have done to get us to this point, and the standard that we must now uphold to maintain the certification.
Looking to the future, what does this mean for Genesis Biosciences moving forward?
‘We value being market driven and customer focussed’ is a core value at Genesis so attaining this certification gives our customers a great sense of confidence in our systems and processes.
Quality has always been a driver for us and Food Safety production now goes hand in hand with this. We are looking to broaden our probiotic offering into this marketplace and we are busy expanding our capacity to ensure that our customers’ needs are met effectively and efficiently.
Explore more recent news from Genesis Biosciences
- Meet our fantastic Employees of the Quarter in the US and UK
- What does 2021 hold? A message from our CEO, Conrad Mielcuszny
- Customer update: We’re mid-way through construction of our new in-house fermentation suite [Part 2]
- Customer update: Our next round of facility improvements is now complete [Part 1]
- Genesis Biosciences is a finalist in 2 prestigious awards in Europe
To find out more about Genesis Biosciences, visit our About page.
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