Greggs has given its backing to web-based certification SOFHTe, from The Society of Food Hygiene Technology (SOFHT).

The scheme is specifically designed for smaller-sized suppliers, and covers a whole range of issues relevant to running a successful food manufacturing process.

It has been developed as an alternative to certification schemes such as BRC, which can be both daunting and costly for small businesses, said SOFHT.

The SOFHTe standard covers areas such as: products, storage and delivery, HACCP and staff training, the working environment, hygiene (including hand-washing) as well as dealing with customer complaints and product recall.

Companies participating in the scheme complete detailed questionnaires on their business procedures, which are then audited by experts at SOFHT.

On-site audits are made on a random basis, so food businesses need to ensure that their online answers are accurate and up to date.

Tony Cragg at Greggs said: “Having reviewed the SOFHTe Certification scheme and applied its principles within our supplier approval and review process, Greggs is happy to include the requirements of the scheme’s content within its supplier control process.”