The management team which coordinated the process with the BRC authority

CTP Flexibles gains BRC accreditation

CTP Flexibles, CTP Limited’s flexible packaging and printing division, recently achieved BRC accreditation in a process that lifted its food grade quality standards compliance … and boosted cooperation among the company’s 170 staff.

This adds to the company’s other quality standards achieved, including FSSC 22000 and FDA IMS compliance.

The process at the Ndabeni, Cape Town-based company was holistic and motivational for all its staff, with the clear benefit being that BRC accreditation means that audits by customers, including brand companies, are now much simpler as the BRC standard is widely recognised. It also opens the way for CTP Flexibles’ bags, printed film on reel and other film and paper products to be export compliant, particularly into the Europe and the United Kingdom.

“Every aspect and just about everything at the plant was affected by the accreditation process,” said CTP Flexibles general manager, Alan Booth, who has been involved in BRC standards processes before, notably at thermoformer, Thermopac, where he oversaw the BRC compliance accreditation process when it was first introduced to SA.

The process at CTP Flexibles was conducted by Wareham & Associates, a Cape Town consultancy specialised in BRC system compliance, with staff training taking place over several months. Several fundamental changes had to made at the plant, including the fact that the canteen and bathroom, change rooms and toilet facilities had to be clearly separated from the production areas, which necessitated structural changes. Besides that, standard clothing and apparel should be worn at all times and staff are now required to use fingerprint recognition to access or leave the production areas. Other changes, many specific to workplace cleanliness, have been implemented too, but according to Alan, possibly the biggest difference has been that of a mindset change where adherence to the procedures has become a lot more routine behaviour for all employees.

The BRC Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials is an international Food Safety Management System Standard. The process and product certification scheme are specifically focused on packaging manufacturing. It is recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) benchmarking committee.

The BRC Global Standard is rigorous and detailed yet easy to understand. It’s HACCP and hazard and risk management-based, incorporates product safety management systems and internationally accepted best manufacturing practice.

“By improving product safety, the standard allows us to set a good foundation in the business to reduce waste, complaints, recalls and rejected products through a cycle of continuous improvement,” said CTP Flexibles quality control assurance manager, Vicky De Klerk, who coordinated the process.

The certification process was relatively fast-tracked at CTP Flexibles, possibly due to the management team’s prior experience and commitment to the objectives.  It obtained an AA grade meaning that CTP Flexibles is certified against the High Hygiene Category for packaging that comes into direct contact with food products or other designated hygiene-sensitive products.

One of the biggest goals achieved through the process, said Vicky, is that “customer confidence in the quality of our products has improved. It has also led to improved brand protection”.