It was audit time last month for both the Brewery and our packaging company, Agricola Bottling.
Over the last seven years we’ve been accredited by an organization called SALSA, which stands for ‘Safe and Local Supplier Approval’. SALSA is a joint, not for profit venture, set up by the four main trade associations that represent the UK Food industry. These are the NFU (National Farmers Union), the FDF (Food and Drink Federation), UK Hospitality and the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Their aim is ‘To provide affordable food safety assurance certification and support for small and micro businesses in the United Kingdom’.
As a brewery we latched on to this idea quite early on, as our trade with supermarkets was increasing and as more people were becoming interested in where their food and drink was coming from.
To us, being audited annually by SALSA gives us, one, the knowledge that what we are doing is safe and correct, two, the assurance of being certified and three, the confidence to approach new markets and be able to say yes, we do everything properly!
The emphasis behind the audit standard is all about food safety, quality and traceability, in relation to the raw materials, finished products, customers and our staff. Indeed, in 2016 SALSA introduced a beer specific audit standard in conjunction with Cask Marque to allow smaller brewers such as ourselves to have an industry audit standard that was specifically tailored to brewing, rather than the ‘one size fits all’ approach of previous standards.
As such we have procedures and policies in place now which mean we can trace everything that goes into making our beer to make sure we are never compromised on taste or quality.
This might mean more paperwork and monitoring for us, but it’s worth it to create a better pint for you!
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