Compliance is key

Food safety standards, worker welfare initiatives and ethical and environmental programmes. At R&G, these fundamental corporate policies form the cornerstone of the business.

For over a decade, R&G has been awarded the Grade A British Retail Consortium food standard – the benchmark for all food producers and manufacturers in the UK. The company is also one of the very few fresh produce suppliers to receive a much coveted zero non-compliance rating by external auditors.

‘Normally, companies have between 5-8 minor non compliances. We received zero, which is a very rare achievement,’ commented Amjad Hussain, the Supply Chain Manager at R&G.

‘We had an independent auditor on site who checked all our processes and he couldn’t come back with a single non compliance. When I go abroad and inspect a supplier I’ll still come back with between 5-10 minor non compliances. We didn’t pick up a single one,’ he added.

The Grade A food safety rating and zero non compliance award is just an example of an array of accreditations and quality assurance initiatives undertaken by the company.

All R&G’s farming operations are accredited to a baseline standard called Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice), a privately run independent organisation that sets standards for the certification of production processes of agricultural goods.

The GAP policies are designed to reassure customers concerning farm-based food production, by minimising detrimental environmental impact of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety.

R&G is also a member of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), an organisation that promotes environmentally responsible farming and achieving a balance between the best of modern technology and sound traditional methods, while enriching the environment.

Alongside food safety standards and environmental awareness, R&G is a major supporter of ethical initiatives. The company is a member of SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), a global database of organisations committed to maintaining high ethical standards throughout the supply chain.

‘Worker welfare is of paramount importance to R&G and as a consequence we only work with Sedex registered suppliers, so we can check their standards and their compliance with worker welfare initiatives,’ added Amjad.

Long haul flights are a regular fixture in the Technical Manager’s schedule. ‘I often go abroad as part of my job, visiting suppliers for random spot checks. Not only do I conduct a food safety audit, I also look at the ethical practices in place, making sure they comply with R&G’s values,’ he commented.

For Amjad, there’s no middle ground when it comes to quality control. ‘Compliance to environmental, ethical and food safety standards is a necessity in our business. R&G often goes above and beyond what is legally required, but it’s a working practice that we believe in,’ Amjad explained.

‘Doing the right thing, in the right way, is what’s important to us,’ he concluded.