CERTIFICATION FAQ

  1. Who empowers ACERTA CERTIFICACION to certify/Inspect the different agri-food scopes?

    The National Accreditation Entity (ENAC) declared, according to Royal Decree 1715 of 2010 of the Spanish state is the only body in Spanish territory, endowed with public power to grant accreditations in accordance with the provisions of European Regulation No. 765/2008.

    ENAC is the entity that has the purpose of accrediting, through the evaluation of a system according to national and international standards, the technical competence of ACERTA CERTIFICACION , so that we can carry out the activities of “Conformity Assessment”, in the sectors in which we operate (industry, environment, agriculture, fishing, food, health, transport, or others) and of the activities that we carry out in a voluntary as well as obligatory scope when regulations are established in this way.

    In the governing body of ENAC (General Assembly, Board of Directors and Standing Committee), its members represent all those who have an interest in the different aspects of accreditation: conformity assessors, representatives of state and regional administrations, companies and business associations using conformity assessment services, are represented in a balanced way, both the Administrations and the parties interested in the accreditation process.

    ENAC has a President appointed by the Administration, holds the legal representation of the Entity, acts on its behalf and is responsible for formalising the agreements adopted by the governing body. The President is appointed by the Industrial Safety Coordination Council, and this position is held by the Subdirector General of Industrial Quality and Safety of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Mr. José Manuel Prieto.

  2. What is the process for obtaining the SAE certificate and what are the deadlines for this?

    1) Send the SAE budget request filled in, and once the budget has been issued by ACERTA, return the accepted budget, with signature, date and stamp.

    2) The level of the SAE certificate depends on the ASEs (exportation certificates to the different countries) that are included in it. Thus, if the level of one of the ASEs is 3, the level of the SAE will be 3 and, on the contrary, if all ASEs included are level 2, the level of the SAE will then be 2.

    3) Then, on the one hand, the certification request is sent to be returned filled in (this is the one sent to the ministry). Basically, they are the same data as the budget request but a little more extended. On the other hand, the contract for the provision of services, so that it is also returned signed, dated and sealed.

    4) The date for the audit is specified.

    5) After the audit, the deadlines for obtaining the certificate (if in compliance) are: 15 working days to issue the audit report, 22 working days for the company to present Corrective Actions and evidence in case of detecting any Nonconformity, and another 15 working days to make the certification decision and issue the certificate.

    6) From then on, MAPAMA is informed that the company already has a valid certificate and they upload it to their database almost immediately (1 or 2 days) and start exporting.

    7) The deadlines that depend on ACERTA, we try to speed them up to the maximum, so that these deadlines, in case of urgency to obtain the certificate, could be shortened.

    8) The SAE certificate is valid for 3 years, with one announced and one unannounced audit to be carried out during the first two years each year, and the third year of the cycle only one announced audit is carried out, if there are no reasons to recommend maintaining unannounced audits. After carrying out each of these follow-up audits, after having closed any NCs that may have appeared, a certificate maintenance letter is issued.

  3. Is the certification process for the GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture scope any different from the rest of GLOBALG.A.P. scopes?

    1) We start from an application for certification that must be correctly filled out by the client and reviewed by the technical department of ACERTA.

    2) A budget is issued that includes both the official rates of GLOBALG.A.P. according to what is stated in the certification application, as well as the rest of the costs of the certification process. The quotation must be accepted by the client.

    3) After which the contract for the provision of services and the GLOBALG.A.P. sublicense and certification agreement are sent, which must be signed by the client before being registered in the GLOBALG.A.P. Database under ACERTA and be able to generate the company’s GGN in the event that it has not been previously certified.

    4) A main difference with the rest of scopes, is that for the scope of Aquaculture it is MANDATORY to obtain the certification that the evaluation on social risks of GLOBALG.A.P. is carried out. known by its acronym GRASP. For this reason, a specific evaluation contract for GRASP is also sent, which must also be signed by the client.

    5) Then, a date for the audit is specified, taking into account that if it is an initial audit you must have at least 3 months of records of implementation of the standard prior to the conduct of the audit, as well as having performed the internal self-assessment. An audit plan will be sent with all the details of the same before it is carried out, informing the company officially.

    6) Once the audit has been carried out, if Non Conformities (NCs) have been detected, the company has 28 natural ones to present a Corrective Action Plan (CAs) together with the evidence of having implemented them (up to 3 months in the case of initial audits).

    7) Since the company submits the CA, the certification body has another 28 days to review the file and rule after the certification committee and, if everything is in compliance according to the standard, issue the corresponding certificate.

    8) The certificate is valid for one calendar year and must be renewed annually in a window of no more than 4 months prior to the date of validity of the certificate and, it is recommended, no less than 2 months prior to this date to have time to meet the deadlines set forth above.

    9) Additionally, as a rule, all certification bodies have the obligation to make unannounced audits to 10% of their certified clients annually, in which case nothing can be communicated to the company before 48 working hours from the date scheduled for the audit. Such unannounced audits do not cost clients.

  4. What does CoC GR mean?

    CoC GR: Chain of Custody – General Rules

  5. Ámbito de la Certificación para GLOBALGAP Cadena de Custodia

    “El ámbito de certificación CoC de un productor no debe incluir el mismo proceso de producción que ya está certificado bajo la Norma GLOBALG.A.P. de Aseguramiento Integrado de Fincas. O sea, no se puede certificar una explotación que produce y empaca manzanas bajo la Norma IFA y también bajo la Norma CoC.” – Véase RG parte 1, Apdo. 4.4. (l)
    “El ámbito de certificación CoC puede incluir un producto no producido en la explotación (o sea, comprado a terceros), donde el productor actúa como comerciante o proveedor de servicios, p. ej.: se puede certificar una explotación que produce y empaca manzanas bajo IFA por un lado, y certificar la misma explotación bajo CoC por el empaque de peras compradas.” – Véase RG parte 1, Apdo. 4.4. (m)
    “Para el caso de frutas y hortalizas, el ámbito de certificación CoC cubre productos no procesados tales como frutas y hortalizas enteras y empacadas, y excluye productos procesados como ensaladas de frutas, jugos, ensaladas envasadas, etc.” – Véase RG parte 1, Apdo. 4.4. (b)
    “Las actividades subcontratadas comprendidas dentro del ámbito de certificación CoC deben declararse durante el registro para permitir a los OCs programar inspecciones en sus instalaciones (por ejemplo, almacén subcontratado, lugar donde se etiqueta o procesa, etc.). – Véase RG parte 1, Apdo. 4.4. (k)

  6. What is the main difference for a food industry to be certified in the BRC or IFS Standard?

    All assess requirements regarding the production of safe, legal and quality food.

    The certificate is valid for one year.

    IFS is recognized by the retail market in Germany, France and Italy. IFS (International Featured Standards) is a private standard belonging to HDE (Germany), FCD (France) and the Italian Retailers Association.
    BRC is recognised by the retail chain in the UK, Belgium and Switzerland. BRC Global Standards, being also a private standard belongs to the British Retail Consortium.

    At IFS:

    • Levels of requirements all equal
    • Types of Nonconformities: KO, Major
    • A level is obtained depending on the score obtained: >95% Higher and >75% Basic.

    In BRC:

    • Levels of requirements: Fundamental and the rest uncategorized.
    • Types of Nonconformities: Critical, Major, Minor.
    • A level is obtained depending on the nonconformities: A, B, C, D (not certified)

    Non-conformities declared in the Certification Audit:

    BRC allows a supplier to be certified with a Major nonconformity and several minor nonconformities, provided that the supplier provides objective evidence that it has remedied such nonconformity within 28 days.
    IFS in no case allows certification if there is any type of KO nonconformity and for Major nonconformity a complementary audit must be performed to verify the correction of the nonconformity within 6 weeks to 6 months from the audit. For all other non-compliances they are audited as deviations and verified at the next annual audit.

    Your client’s demand.

    If you sell your products to a food chain you will be required to meet a specific standard. For example, they require certification in BRC, among others Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. To work with Aldi, Lidl, Carrefour or Auchan, the IFS Standard is required.

  7. How can I get the BRC and IFS logos?

    The BRC logo can only be obtained by direct submission from BRC (certification bodies are not authorized to submit the logo, nor are certified companies authorized to obtain it from sources other than BRC directly). To do this, and according to BRC rules, once the company is certified (with a valid certificate in force), you can obtain it through the following link: http://logo.brcdirectory.com/

    As for the IFS logo, it is similar. You must access the IFS portal (www.ifs-certification.com) and there you can download the logo (you will have to fill out a short form where your data are requested so that IFS has controlled its download).

  8. What certifications can I get with ACERTA?

    At Acerta we are continually increasing the number of certification services we offer our customers, so it’s best to check out this page.

  9. What is ENAC, the National Accreditation Entity?
  10. What is the difference between ``Production Site`` and ``Agronomic Farm``?

    Production Site: Production area (e.g. field, plot, farm, orchard, greenhouse, etc.) that is owned or rented and managed by the applicant legal entity, and where the same supplies are used (e.g. water management, workers, equipment, warehouses, etc.). A single production site can be understood as several non-contiguous zones, but which meet the above requirements.

    Farm (Homogeneous Cultivation Unit), plot, land, sector or greenhouse: separate units of land within a production site, which together make up the production unit.

  11. What scope does Chain of Custody cover?

    The scope of CoC certification covers the entire supply chain for fruits and vegetables, the scope of CoC certification covers unprocessed products such as whole and packaged fruits and vegetables, and excludes processed products such as fruit salads, juices, packaged salads, etc.

    The scope of CoC certification covers the handling, storage, processing, and marketing process of GLOBALG.A.P. certified products, from the farm to the retail distribution center. CoC certification must include any company that is legally responsible for the production, processing, packaging, marketing, transport, slaughter and sales of GLOBALG.A.P. certified products.

    The CoC certification scope of a producer must not include the same production process that is already certified under the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Standard. Example: A site that produces and packs apples under the IFA Standard and also under the CoC Standard cannot be certified.

    The scope of CoC certification may include a product not produced on the site, i.e. purchased from third parties, where the producer acts as a trader or service provider. Example: you can certify a site that produces and packages apples under IFA on the one hand, and certify the same site under CoC for the packaging of purchased pears.

    All products found in the list of products GLOBALG.A.P. published on the website GLOBALG.A.P. could be included in the scope of CoC certification.

  12. What is an operational site?

    We understand operational site as the term “exploitation” of the General CoC (Chain of Custody) Regulations. The term “exploitation” refers to those places of production, processing, handling, storage or administrative offices where the product is produced, processed, handled, stored or delivered/marketed. It is obligatory to register all the sites through which the products to be included in the scope of the chain of custody pass physically or by document.

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