Want to become a Costco supplier? Start with a Costco Supplier Audit.
As we move to a faster globalized world, food retailers are looking to maintain and increase their trust amongst consumers. They have created specific regulations and guidelines they want their suppliers to meet.
Costco seeks to support the welfare of the people who produce, process and harvest the products they sell.
GMP Audits are required to be unannounced. The audit must be conducted within a 90-day audit window from the date of the previous audit (45 days before/after audit anniversary date).
Audit companies will contact suppliers to schedule audits within the specified timeframe. During the scheduling process, the audit company will ask the site to provide blackout dates (if any). A blackout date is a period of time in which the site will not be operational or producing Costco product or like product.
Blackout dates are strictly limited to non-production days and will not be granted for any other reason. Unless blackout dates are provided by the site, all days within the 90- day audit window will be considered “audit ready” dates. If a site is not operational on an audit ready-date, the audit must be rescheduled within the original 90 day window at the supplier’s expense.
It is advisable to check with your audit company regarding their cancellation policy and associated fees. The majority of Costco GMP audits can be completed in a single audit day, though certain audits may require a second day due to the size, complexity, and readiness of a facility.
Suppliers that have fewer than 25 employees and have not previously completed a third-party food safety audit are eligible for a Costco Small Supplier Audit.
Unlike the Costco GMP Audit, Small Supplier Audits are always announced. Small Supplier Audits are intended as an introduction to Costco’s food safety program and are to be performed on a one-time-basis only. All subsequent audits completed for Costco must be either a Costco GMP audit or GFSI Certification with Costco Addendum.
The purpose of an animal welfare audit is to gather current and accurate information concerning the overall welfare status of animals used for food, for existing and potential vendors. This information is to be shared with appropriate members of Costco Wholesale ONLY, namely the Food Safety & Technology Group and the Buying Staff. QIMA/WQS counts with PACCO certified auditors.
The Five Freedoms of Animal Well Being:
Types of Audits
On farm audits: On farm audits are those audits that inspect the animal welfare of live animals on the farm in their daily living environment.
Slaughter Audits: Slaughter audits take place at the plant where the animals are sent to be slaughtered and processed for the product.
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