Managing regulatory compliance has never been easy, especially for businesses within the food and beverage sector. Things have even become harder because of stricter policies and barriers from different quarters. Such challenges often make it difficult for businesses to comply with various regulations.
However, non-compliance can have very negative effects on your business. There are a lot of problems that you are bound to face if you fail to comply with labeling regulations. This may include product recalls, health and safety issues, supply chain disruptions, damaged brand reputation, and fines.
Below are some of the best food and beverage labeling compliance practices you should consider.
1. Standardize and centralize labeling
Standardizing one labeling solution is not a new idea. According to Seagull Scientific, “Secure, proven and reliable labeling software is the difference between a successful food and beverage labeling system and a complicated, costly one.” It is something that has been tried and proved to work.
For corporations and other expanding businesses, relying on separate, disconnected solutions doesn’t make a lot of sense. When you decide to separate labeling to production lines at a different site, it becomes difficult to guarantee safety and brand consistency throughout the organization. Besides, you will also minimize visibility into labeling for major stakeholders at the corporate level.
2. Own your part of the label
In most companies, regulation and compliance are often outsourced to IT consultants. Although this is not a bad idea, it is also important to ensure that you have a certain level of control over the label.
This means that the consulting company will have to involve you in any significant changes to the label. The good news is that as part of the regulatory team, you are able to add requisite pictograms and any safety information.
3. Integrate with sources of truth
There’s nothing as important as accuracy in regulatory labeling. But with a lot of information across different platforms, it can be challenging to keep up with the truth. That’s the reason why it is critical to directly integrate labeling with the source of compliance data. It is not only risky but also a waste of time to continue relying on spreadsheets to manage labeling data.
4. Gain a critical insight for reporting and auditing
As labeling regulations continue to evolve, it is vital for companies to come up with ways of monitoring, tracking, and capturing labeling activity. You never know when the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) auditors will come knocking at your door. Constant tracking and monitoring will put you a step ahead in terms of compliance.
5. Create a “closed-loop” approval process and workflow
There are lots of people involved in labeling. As such, you should have a systematic flow process that will ensure none of them is left out, particularly the regulatory team. The previous or manual approach has a way of creating a lot of circles that increase the risk of errors as well as mislabeling.
6. Scale to enter easily
As organizations explore to enter into new markets, they have to resist and contend with distinct and country-specific regulatory policies. A centralized approach towards labeling helps companies to be more proactive.
In general, food and beverage labeling compliance can be challenging. However, the above-mentioned practices can help your organization stay on the safe side.