Why do companies need a 3rd party food safety audit program?

Globalisation has made the whole world a single large market place with no boundaries. Advancement of information technology and transport systems has fuelled the growth of globalisation. It has impacted all industries alike, whether telecom, energy, financial or food. Today, it is possible to source any product from any corner of the world. This has presented many opportunities as well as threats.

Even the food industry has not escaped this phenomenon and, the entire supply chain in the food industry has gone through a change. It is possible to source any food item, whether perishable or not, from any corner of the world. This has necessitated a focused approach towards food safety management as it has become more important than ever before. Most companies in the food industry have realised this and are adopting various techniques, processes and systems to ensure the food they supply is safe.

One important aspect of food safety management is food auditing. There are many types of food audits that are conducted in companies to ensure that the processes, practices and people are well aligned towards food safety. These food audits can be conducted by government authorities, internally by the company itself, or by an independent third party food auditor.

A third party audit program can encompass all parts of the supply chain including the suppliers, manufacturers and processors. There could be many reasons for a company to opt for a third party audit program, the foremost being the company's concern and sensitivity towards food safety. Any company that has a desire to improve upon its existing systems to ensure better sanitation and better food safety should consider a third party audit programme.

Customers today are much more knowledgeable, quality conscious and demanding in terms of food safety requirements. Demands from such customers mandate the companies to use third party audit programs. Today, we are living in a globalised world and one of the biggest challenges that it has posed for businesses is the intense competition that it has created . Marketing of products has become tougher than ever. In such a scenario, a third party audit program definitely gives a company an advantage to market themselves better as a company that complies with all food safety obligations.

Another important reason is that an internal audit might not produce results that are as pronounced as that of a third party audit. Companies definitely benefit from an independent viewpoint to their day to day operations and to their food safety management system. Also, not all companies will have the resources in house to carry out an audit effectively; this makes it important for them to use the services of a third party auditor. An independent, professional third party auditor is in a better position to recommend solutions to the problems that the company might be facing in terms of food safety management, they can report without fear or favour, resulting in the best result for the company. Food safety management can be complex and demanding, only a professional with adequate experience can audit these systems most effectively. Whether a company is big or small, it is always a wise decision to use the services of a professional third party auditor.

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