Trade finisher Frip Finishing has claimed a UK first by securing British Retail Consortium (BRC) AA food safety accreditation.
According to the company, it is the first decorative print firm to achieve the BRC standard, which will form a key element of the Hinckley, Leicestershire-headquartered business's growth strategy.
To achieve the accreditation companies must supply documentary evidence that they adhere to the BRC's stringent food safety rules, which have become the global standard for food safety in more than 100 countries.
After applying for the accreditation in February, an audit took place at the Hinckley site between 15 and 16 June, with news that the company had achieved the highest AA standard confirmed earlier this month.
The project involved a total investment of around £200,000 and, according to Frip group systems manager Malc Griffin, the 75-staff company has already felt the benefits of achieving the BRC standard.
“It has given the group a focus, which has [led] to a tightening of housekeeping standards, improvements to staff facilities and better internal communications,” he said.
Recognising that this will improve its growing food packaging business, group managing director Leslie Gibson said that “it was an essential requirement for us to move forward. It will allow us to provide for growth to our existing customer base and a new customer base".
The BRC food safety certification requires companies to ensure they fulfil their legal obligations, provide protection for the consumer and standardise their quality, safety and operational criteria.
“We’ve already had two people approach us purely because we have this,” said Gibson.
Frip, located in five separate locations, wishes to achieve the BRC certificate for Redditch and Glasgow by the end of this year and Stockport and Redhill by 2018.
The trade finisher, founded in 1970, is a specialist decorative print finisher offering services such as hot foil stamping, embossing, laminating and coating.
Earlier this year, Frip took on two new apprentices in its Stockport site, having taken on four in 2016.