Nationwide Produce Achieves BRC Grade AA Certification
At Nationwide Produce, we’re proud to share a big achievement: the prestigious BRC Grade AA certification for our new packhouse operations in Evesham. What truly sets this accomplishment apart is not just the certificate itself, but the exceptional speed at which we achieved it, a mere three months from the project’s start to finish.
The BRC (British Retail Consortium) certification is a globally recognised standard for food safety and quality management systems. It signifies our unwavering commitment to ensuring the highest levels of food safety and quality for our customers. To achieve the Grade AA certification in such a short period is a testament to our dedication to excellence.
Our journey began in 2007 with one guy in a small office selling just a few lines of imported exotic veg. In January 2018, we bought our first site, Vitaal Evesham with the intention of it lasting for around five years. The pace of our growth exceeded expectations, and in 2019, we found ourselves moving into a larger depot in Evesham just up the road. The expansion continued, and we recently more than doubled the size of our new depot, Nationwide Evesham to enhance efficiency. In 2023, recognising the increasing demand for packed produce from various sectors, we made the strategic decision to repurpose the original depot (Vitaal Evesham) into a packhouse.
We noticed an increasing demand for packed produce from various sectors, including meal-kit customers, caterers, the food-service industry, and retail. To meet this demand, we invested heavily in machinery and staff to install a row of production lines to sort, pack, and label produce into just about every type of pack conceivable. This certification now opens doors to partnerships with businesses worldwide, many of whom insist on working exclusively with suppliers holding an A or B grade.
Tim O’Malley, Group Managing Director, said: “We invested heavily in machinery and staff to install a row of production lines to sort, pack and label produce into just about every type of pack conceivable. The problem we then had was the usual “chicken before the egg” dilemma in this industry of many customers demanding BRC. With the dangling carrot of a big order for the winter season we set ourselves the difficult goal of achieving BRC certification in 3 months. Not easy… but we did it. Not only that, we achieved Grade AA. In the BRC Auditor’s own words ‘to achieve this standard with a new business after only 3 months is very unusual, what Nicola, Tony and the team have done is amazing… and that is not a word I often use during audits’.”
Our Evesham Packhouse:
This certification represents a significant team achievement. It’s a testament to the unwavering unity and dedication of our team, without which reaching this high BRC standard would not have been possible. The collective hard work and expertise of the Nationwide Produce team is a source of immense pride for all of us as a group.
Our vision for the future goes beyond this notable achievement. We aim not only to maintain our Grade AA announced standard but to strive for even greater excellence, with a goal of achieving the coveted AA* grade, the highest level in unannounced programs. At Nationwide Produce, we are committed to growth, innovation, and delivering superior quality. We plan to further expand our customer base, develop our people and teams, compete more effectively in the fresh produce industry, and embrace innovative packaging, design, and sustainable practices.
This achievement marks a significant milestone in our history, and we are thrilled to continue serving our customers with the highest standards of quality and safety.