How SALSA Accreditation Helps Small Food Producers Sell To Retailers

Food producers looking to take their business to the next level and supply products to retailers, outlets or even supermarkets may wonder what’s involved in taking this next step in their business journey. In this article we explore how SALSA accreditation can help you impress retailers, and we’ll also explore the importance of food safety and traceability.

SALSA accreditation and Food Safety

There are numerous considerations, applications, and processes to undertake when pitching your food products to retailers. However, one key consideration regardless of where goods are supplied and sold, is food safety.

If you’re a food business that wants to reinforce its commitment to food safety more formally to impress buyers, you can do so by becoming accredited by an industry body such as SALSA.

SALSA stands for Safe and Local Supplier Approval and demonstrates to buyers that your business operates to standards that exceed the minimum standards expected by enforcement authorities.

Click the link to find out more about SALSA membership and approval.

Another reason to become a member of SALSA and its food safety certification scheme is that when retailers are considering a new food supplier, one area they review is their commitment to food safety. Food producers must have certain protocols in place and hold a certification such as SALSA to demonstrate this.

SALSA membership and Traceability

Retailers are also keen to see a robust traceability system in place for prospective suppliers. For this reason, one of the SALSA standards which members must adhere to, and evidence, is traceability.

According to SALSA, their requirement for traceability is as follows:

“The business shall have the proven ability to identify and trace all raw materials, including food, and contact packaging, from suppliers through all stages of production to the point of despatch and, where appropriate, delivery to known customers and vice versa.

“Traceability shall be tested each way at least annually and more frequently if there are known risks in the supply chain.”

Traceability Systems

It’s important to have a traceability system in place to evidence traceability in food production and show how you would deal with a product recall or food safety incident should it occur.

Systems can be paper-based or electronic, and the data recorded and gathered over time must be accessible should a product recall or incident occur meaning you can trace forwards or trace backward to eliminate risks, and reputational damage as well as reduce costs and save where possible i.e., less scrapped batches.

Below is a list of data that you must have for traceability in food production:

  • Supplier information
  • Raw material information (ingredients, packaging etc)
  • Customer List
  • Product List (finished products)
  • Recipes
  • Clear labeling system
  • Goods in form, detailing:
    • Product
    • Supplier
    • Batch number
    • Quantity
    • Expiry date
  • Dispatch records

This information must also be provided during audits, and the auditor may wish to see any part of your system/records on the spot – so having that information easily accessible for a prompt turnaround is key for a stress-free audit experience.

Implementing an electronic traceability system that manages all this data for you, with information readily available at the touch of a button, can be hugely beneficial for meeting the requirements of SALSA certification.

You can read our post below to learn more about how traceability can improve your response to product recalls…