ISO 22006:2009, Quality management systems – Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001:2008 to crop production, can be used with farm operations of any size, growing all types of food, feed and nonfood crops.
ISO 22006 provides step-by-step guidance through the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 with a practical approach to crop operations. The standard provides pertinent subject-specific tips and suggestions, and uses agricultural terminology. Among its unique features is a user-friendly flow diagram listing all the farm operation activities to help determine how they fit together and where there is need for improvement.
Mark Ames, the standard project leader, says: “ISO 22006 takes a recognized generic management solution and turns it into a down-to-earth tool that farmers can link to their particular needs.”
Richard Cantrill, Convenor of the working group that developed the standard (ISO/TC 34/WG 12) adds : “ The standard will give farmers a powerful advantage. Although on the one hand, the application of a quality management system can take some initial added effort, overall, this is built from existing activities and should not cause excessive paperwork or lack of flexibility.
“On the other hand, a solid QMS can bring important net benefits, not only to farmers, but also to their clients and customers.”
ISO 22006 does not add or change any of the requirements in ISO 9001 and is not intended for certification, although it can be a useful tool in helping prepare for certification to ISO 9001.
ISO 22006 is part of the ISO 22000 family of standards developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, focusing on the food and feed supply chains.
New SC on MSS
ISO/TC 34 has set up a new subcommittee, SC 17, on food safety management systems to handle the development of future guidelines and standards in the ISO 22000 family. Its secretariat is operated by Danish Standards, with Jacob Faergemand as Chair and Berit Behbahani as acting secretary. Its first meeting in September 2009 in Copenhagen was a big success, attracting participation for six continents.
The intention is to demonstrate to the food industry, from farmers to retailers, that ISO can deliver the standards needed by all stakeholders of the global supply chain for food and feed.
The first concrete result of its work came with the recent publication of ISO technical specification ISO/TS 22002-1:2009, Prerequesite programmes on food safety – Part 1: Food manufacturing, which sets out requirements for prerequisite programmes needed to realize safe products and provide food that is safe for human consumption.
It is intended to be used in conjunction with, and to support, ISO 22000:2005 which gives requirements for a food safety management system.
The new technical specification has a huge potential impact since, according to the latest figures, some 8 200 organizations in 112 countries were independently certified to ISO 22000:2005 at the end of 2008.
ISO/TS 22002-1 specifies requirements for establishing, implementing and maintaining prerequisite programmes designed to help food manufacturers be able to control :
- The likelihood of introducing food safety hazards to the product through the work environment
- Biological, chemical and physical contamination of the product, including cross contamination between products
- Food safety hazard levels in the product and product processing environment.
Jacob Faergemand comments: “As the introduction of food safety hazards can occur at the manufacturing stage of the food supply chain, a hygienic environment is essential. That is why this ISO technical specification is very useful in reducing the likelihood that products will be exposed to hazards, that they will be contaminated, and that hazards will proliferate.” The new technical specification applies to all organizations involved in the manufacturing step of the food chain, regardless of size or complexity.