The Bord Bia Beef Quality Assurance Scheme is an integrated scheme involving the producer and the processing plant working in partnership to provide the customer with quality assured product. The scheme describes the essential quality assurance requirements from primary production through factory processing to final despatch which are necessary to meet customer requirements. In addition, the scheme lays down additional standards to be complied with at each step of the production chain. The Scheme was accredited under EN45011 in 2004.
Producers seeking membership can initially apply directly to Bord Bia or through their meat processor. A special application form will be provided and must be signed by the producer. A producer declaration form will be completed at the audit to establish the proper basis for the audit. The application will then be evaluated and, if appropriate, a full independent audit of the producer will be carried out to evaluate the capability of the applicant to meet all the requirements of the Standard. This audit will be conducted by an independent auditor from a Bord Bia appointed inspection body. When the producer is deemed to have complied with the requirements of the Standard, the herd will be considered for certification under the Scheme. When certified, the producer will be issued with a certificate for the herd which will be listed on the Bord Bia register/database. Before the certification expires, the producer will receive a reminder letter from Bord Bia advising that a further audit is required to maintain certification.
At processor level, the scheme sets out a number of essential requirements covering both product and process. There are procedures covering hygiene, chilling, and product traceability along the production chain. Processors must develop a food safety management plan based on the principles of HACCP. Processors are subject to independent audit during which their compliance with each of the scheme requirements will be assessed. When the processor is deemed to have complied with the requirements of the Standard, the processor will be considered for certification under the Scheme. When certified, the processor will be issued with a certificate for the scope of the process audited and will be listed on the Bord Bia database / register and on the member list.