AIB International has introduced the Pandemic Prepared Certification, which the organization describes as “the first certification standard created for the food and beverage supply chain that elevates critical planning for people, facilities and production inputs, and delivers significant social impacts, builds bottom-line resiliency and unlocks insurance benefits.”
“We developed the Pandemic Prepared Certification because the food and beverage supply chain were ill prepared for a global pandemic and the associated disruption it created in nearly every aspect of business operations worldwide,” explained Steve Robert, global VP of sales, marketing and innovation at Manhattan, Kansas-based AIB. “The AIB International Pandemic Prepared Certification is a proactive measure to help companies across the supply chain prepare for the future with the only best-in-class protocol benchmark.”
The certification aims to provides assurance for the food and beverage supply chain and consumers that companies are committed to establishing and maintaining best practices. An investment, active risk management protocols and continuous refinement are required to remain certified, but “those operations are then recognized as bringing the highest standards of integrity to the global food and beverage supply chain, the organization said. “This results in not only internal and social benefits, but also business continuity, and significant bottom-line impacts due to their demonstrated commitment to decreased risk.”
There are five distinct areas in which operations will need to demonstrate proficiency to be certified:
- Pandemic Crisis Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Intermittent Operations Planning Management
- Health Crisis Mitigation Measures and Management
- Pre-Requisite Program Review
AIB worked with thought leaders from government, academia, international agencies, along with well-known brands brands, to develop the Pandemic Prepared Certification standard. This included information from food safety agencies, among them FDA, CFIA (Canada), FSANZ (Australia, New Zealand), FSA (United Kingdom), FSSAI (India) and EFSA (Europe), and domestic agencies OSHA, FEMA and EPA regarding workforce health and safety.
To launch the Pandemic Prepared Certification, AIB is teaming with the York, Pennsylvania-based Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) on a live public webinar on Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m. CDT.
This isn't the first pandemic-inspired certification program, however. In May, Bureau Veritas, the world’s oldest testing and certification company, joined forces with the Cleveland Clinic to create a uniform set of standards for hygiene control and health safety in grocery stores and other businesses operating in a COVID-19 world.