At National Bulk Bag, we pride ourselves in maintaining up-to-date industry knowledge and information, especially as it relates to food grade FIBCs. The food industry is particularly sensitive given the large regulatory environment – and rightfully so. Having the trust of the food processors and producers we sell to is extremely important to our reputation as a distributor.
The food grade landscape is constantly changing and with that change comes new standards and certifications. The newest GFSI recognized standard that impacts the bulk bag industry (and food packaging as a whole) is Primus GFS. What is Primus GFS? What impact will it have on food grade FIBCs?
Primus GFS - GFSI Recognized Standard
Primus GFS is the latest GFSI recognized standard that has a direct impact on the bulk bag industry and all “provision of storage and distribution services” related products (for more information on GFSI recognition and certification, check out this article that goes into detail). Primus GFS, owned and managed by Azzule Systems, was first recognized in June of 2018 by GFSI – making it the most recently GFSI recognized standard in the food grade bulk bag industry.
Primus GFS’s certification is offered in 20 countries around the globe. Of the various audits included in the program, notable audits include the Food Safety Management System (FSMS), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
As a GFSI recognized program, the goal of Primus GFS is to help drive the vision and goal of global food safety harmonization. In the US, large retailers and food service companies have pushed for better and more universal auditing schemes that are accepted worldwide. The Primus GFS scheme covers the full scope of the supply chain from farm production all the way through the entire supply chain (“integrated supply chain approach”).
The 7 Modules of Primus GFS
The Primus GFS certification standard in version 3.1 is comprised of 7 different modules. They are as follows:
- Food Safety Management System (FSMS) - Applicable to all operations
- Farm - applicable to all farm operations
- Indoor Agriculture - applicable to all indoor agricultural operations
- Harvest Crew - applicable to harvest crews and applications
- Facility - applicable to facilities
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) - applicable to all facilities
- Preventative Control (PC) - optional to all facilities and facility operations
How Does This Impact Food Grade FIBCs?
In terms of the food grade FIBCs themselves, the impact is minimal. The impact on distributors and suppliers however, is greater and more substantial. Distributors in the US have an obligation to vet their overseas suppliers and ensure they are following the latest and greatest standards when manufacturing food grade bags For most US distributors, this involves visiting their overseas suppliers’ facilities and auditing their GFSI recognized certifications (certifications like Primus GFS, along with BRCGS, etc.).
If you’re not sure your distributors suppliers, ask if they vet them. If the answer is no, how do you know you’re getting a quality food grade bag manufactured in a food-safe facility? Using FIBCs in facilities with food products is sensitive in nature – don’t let your distributor get in the way of your food-safe operation.
For more information about Primus GFS and their scheme, visit primusgfs.com/home.aspx
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In today’s competitive food marketplace, IFS and other GFSI recognized accreditations are increasingly important and you need the right packing to ensure compliance.
With over 20 years of food industry experience, National Bulk Bag has the expertise to help you select the right food grade certified bag for your product.
Click the button below to download our Food Grade Buyer’s Guide. By downloading this guide, you will get access to our food grade comparison chart, things you should look for in a food grade supplier, and everything else you need to know about purchasing food grade bags.