One of the most crucial subjects that have to be addressed and concern the Top management, Procurement department and the Quality Assurance department in every food production organization is the Supplier Management System.
In food industry, the organization has two kinds of suppliers, The Suppliers of the raw materials and packaging materials in addition to the suppliers of services who have to be efficiently managed and evaluated.
Whether those suppliers are local or international, the availability of supplied items or services at the right time, accurate quantities and good quality is paramount.
Nevertheless, the internal departments of a single organization act as suppliers for each other, for example: the warehouse act as a supplier for the production department.
Thus, Supplier management system is not a singular role of certain entity but a correlated network of a multi- disciplinary team who have to perform stronger emphasis on food safety and quality rather than the price of the items supplied.
Therefore, selecting of accredited suppliers is a critical decision and Quality assurance shall ensure that the suppliers meet the standard requirements and that the fundamental information required from the suppliers are available that includes but not limited to:
•Registration and licenses.
•Halal certificates and a letter states that the products are not adulterated.
•Results of the products analysis performed at the suppliers accredited laboratory.
•Product technical data sheet that shall include for example:
oAllergens present in the product.
oNutritional facts label.
oShelf life and recommended storage conditions of the product.
oThe chemical analysis, heavy metals tested.
oPhysical quality attributes.
Also, a standard receiving procedure shall be in place to ensure the quality and safety of materials at time of delivery and that the required documents provided by the suppliers are available with each shipment.
The supplier management system implemented have to be verified on a regular basis through the regular evaluation of the suppliers in addition to performing supplier audits according to the evaluation result and the established audit plan.
Always remember that the food safety and quality of your final product is ultimately dependent on the safety and the quality of the raw and packaging materials.
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