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BRC-RILA partnership to advance product safety standard
20
Aug '09
A British Retail Consortium (BRC) product standard is a step closer to cracking America. A major contract to create a global manufacturing standard for consumer products has been signed between the BRC and North America's leading retail trade association.

This agreement, signed by the BRC and Retail Industry-Leaders Association (RILA), advances the retail industry's commitment to ensuring the safe and consistent quality of its products through independent certification of producers' operations against the BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products. The contract also covers the training and awareness programmes that will help suppliers in their efforts to achieve certification against the Standard.

Certification is an effective and cost efficient way for retailers to establish confidence in products and reduces the burden of multiple audits for suppliers. Previously individual retailers set and enforced their own standards. Now major US retail names are likely to begin to require suppliers to show they are BRC certificated.

Dr. Geoff Spriegel, Director of British Retail Consortium Global Standards, said: “This partnership is an essential part of developing the BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products into the worldwide standard of choice. We are absolutely delighted to be working with RILA on this project. This commitment by leading US retailers is a major boost for the scheme”.

Casey Chroust, RILA Executive Vice President for Retail Operations, said: “RILA members have always been committed to selling safe products. This partnership advances that goal by establishing a meaningful standard for retail suppliers that ultimately assures customers that they can purchase with confidence”

The contract will kick off with the development of a global communications strategy designed to increase awareness of the Standard in North America, Europe and the Far East. Meetings are planned between the two organisations and others in early September to agree a three- year development plan that includes a series of visits to producing countries such as China to engage with retailers, suppliers and government officials.

Issue 3 of the BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products will be published in January 2010 supported by an Interpretation Guideline and a number of Best Practice Guidelines covering Toys, Electricals, Furniture, Health & Beauty, Textiles and Jewellery. The Standard lays down the requirements that the producer must meet in order to gain certification.

British Retail Consortium (BRC)

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