In 1998 the British Retail Consortium (BRC), responding to industry needs, developed and introduced the BRC Food Technical Standard to be used to evaluate manufacturers of retailers own brand food products. It is designed to be used as a pillar to help retailers and brand owners with their 'due diligence' defence, should they be subject to a prosecution by the enforcement authorities. Under EU food Law, retailers and brand owners have a legal responsibility for their brands.

In a short space of time, this Standard became invaluable to other organisations across the sector. It was and still is regarded as the benchmark for best practice in the food industry. This and its use outside the UK has seen it evolve into a Global Standard used not just to assess retailer suppliers, but as a framework upon which many companies have based their supplier assessment programmes and manufacture of some branded products.

The majority of UK, and many European and Global retailers, and brand owners will only consider business with suppliers who have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard.

Following the success and widespread acceptance of the Global Standard – Food, the BRC published the first issue of the Packaging Standard in 2002, followed by Consumer Products Standard in August 2003, and finally by the BRC Global Standard - Storage and Distribution in August 2006 . Each of these Standards is regularly reviewed and each standard is fully revised and updated at least every 3 years after extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.

Why were the BRC Global Standards published?

Work on the first BRC Global Standard began in 1996, when UK retailers realised that on the issue of food safety, there were many advantages to sharing experience and developing robust systems together. The first issue of the BRC Global Standard - Food was published in 1998 year.
Its success led to continued co-operation between UK Trade Bodies, with the encouragement of the UK Government, to develop an approach to a number of other issues. This led to the publication of BRC Global Standards for:

  • Packaging
  • Identity Preserved Non-Genetically Modified Food Ingredients


  • Consumer Products
  • Storage and Distribution

Who wrote them?

Each Standard was developed under the leadership of the BRC, and its members. Contributions came from:

  • Representatives from major retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Certification bodies
  • UKAS
  • Trade associations.

Why it is necessary?

The development of the BRC Global Standards was initially driven by the need to meet legislative requirements of the EU General Product Safety Directive and the UK Food Safety Act, but was quickly seen as having significant benefits to the suppliers of product to UK retailers and subsequently, European and Global retailers. In addition to this the range of users has now expanded to catering.