Clanton DC Earns BRC Certificate

The Merchants Foodservice distribution center in Clanton, Alabama, recently earned the British Retail Consortium’s Global Standard for Storage and Distribution, a leading certification signaling the center’s dedication to best practices in the storing, wholesaling and distributing of food and other products.

“The standard shows that we have internationally-recognized best practices in place as well as a process of continual improvement,” said Andy Mercier, president and CEO of Merchants Foodservice. “Customers can have confidence in our processes and in the integrity of all food products received from us.”

Activities affecting the safety, quality and legality of the products stored and distributed at the distribution center are audited during the standard’s review process. The standard is divided into eight sections, including senior management commitment and continuous improvement; hazard and risk analysis; quality management systems; site and building standards; vehicle operating standards; facility management; good operating practices; and personnel.

The standard was introduced in 2006 by the BRC, the largest trade organization in the British retail industry, and has since been adopted by 23,000 suppliers in 123 countries. The standard provides an essential certification link between the range of BRC manufacturing standards and the end user, the retailer and the foodservice company.

The certification process lasted one year and focused on updated policies and procedures and increased employee training. Detailed documentation and an on-site visit were also required, said Rodney Elam, director of food safety for Merchants Foodservice.

“The BRC standard is the highest audit in our industry,” said Elam. “We pursued it because our customer base is looking for Merchants to be a leader in the industry.”

The Clanton distribution center services customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. It is the third Merchants Foodservice facility to receive the certification. Distribution centers in Tifton, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi, previously earned BRC approval.

Merchants Foodservice serves 12 Southeastern states and is ranked 12th in sales volume among the 2,600 food distributors in the United States. The corporate office is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.