A new international food packaging hygiene model - a model of compliance for self-regulation
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research is the first of its kind in not only reviewing how the UK food packaging industry introduced a voluntary code of practice for packaging hygiene but also in developing a set of guiding principles for companies to adopt it. Given the context of operating within the food supply where hygiene remains paramount, the challenge for the food packaging industry in the UK was to meet the high hygiene expectations of the food manufacturers and retailers. Prior to the Global Packaging Hygiene Standard, many audits were carried out by food manufacturer and retailer visits measuring against their own individual hygiene criteria. The food and packaging manufacturers spent a great deal of time and money preparing for each audit. They were also faced with rising costs caused by the need to audit a global supply chain. The need for a universal hygiene standard for food packaging was escalated by these rising costs and the need to demonstrate and defend the process in place, beyond reasonable doubt for the food packaging hygiene risk. The BRC (British Retail Consortium), an association representing the British retailer, had already used a working group method for the development of a common UK food hygiene standard (BRC Food standard). It was therefore a logical extension of this to also address the quality and hygiene levels of the packaging being used in food manufacture, storage and distribution. The first universal Global food packaging hygiene standard was launched together with the Institute of Packaging (the UK Packaging Association) in 2001 (BRC & IOP, 2001). The key principles for a model of compliance for companies seeking to adopt this standard are achieved through a variety of research methods: - surveys, audit reports and case studies. Two specific models are used to determine the readiness and evolution of the culture of selected paper and board companies, in implementing this standard. The models used are Cameron and Quinn's competing values framework and Kotter's eight stages of implementation. This research brings together the food and packaging industry, in demonstrating how collaboration throughout the supply chain can provide an effective system for self regulation as well as: - • providing guidelines for other sectors/industries developing self regulatory standards. These will aid other sectors also having to develop voluntary standards to comply with government regulations. • establishing key principles for a model of compliance for packaging companies based on the BRC/IOP Global Packaging standard. These principles will support the required growth of the Global Packaging standard worldwide.
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