SALSA: Food safety assurance for small food producers

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SALSA: Food safety assurance for small food producers

SALSA gives smaller local producers the opportunity to tap into lucrative new markets, as retailers look to capitalise on the growing trend for locally-sourced food.

Driven by consumer demand, many of the UK’s major supermarkets, food service businesses, catering suppliers and local authorities are on the look-out for local produce – but their key priority is to ensure that food safety stays top of any business strategy.

That’s where SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) comes in, delivering a robust and effective food safety certification which is more appropriate for smaller producers and processors than the BRC Global Standard. It has been ‘created by the industry, for the industry ’

What is SALSA?

More than just a standard, SALSA is a web-based scheme offering a package of resources and a strong support structure to take members though to approval in achievable and affordable steps.

The not-for-profit joint venture was set up by the four main trade association representing the UK’s food and drink industry; National Farmers Union, British Hospitality Association, Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium.

Certification is only granted to those members who can demonstrate they are able to produce safe and legal food or drink and have successfully undergone an independent audit.

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Why be a member?

Gaining SALSA approval offers small food and drink producers security, confidence and opportunity to approach a wide range of national buyers. It’s recognised by ASDA, Waitrose, Elior, Sainsburys, Ocado and large public sector organisations among others. They all use the SALSA Directory as a local sourcing tool to keep pace with consumer trends.

SALSA gives support and guidance to achieve certification. Many small producers are unsure about how to set about achieving certification and few have little or no previous experience of an audit. A unique element of the SALSA scheme is its optional mentoring resource for members seeking approval and certification.

Alongside the recognition of being an approved safe and legal business, SALSA offers a range of additional services to support the growing needs of its members and the food industry.  They include hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) training courses and food labelling workshops, providing tailor-made and practical advice. Find more information on upcoming course dates, here...

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Types of SALSA certification

SALSA Standard Package Deal - includes SALSA membership and an individual audit by a SALSA approved auditor.

SALSA Standard Package ‘Extra’ - includes SALSA membership, an individual audit by a SALSA approved auditor and a one-day mentoring course.

SALSA plus Cheese - includes SALSA membership, an individual audit by a SALSA approved auditor, with opportunity for mentoring as an additional extra. Specialised for cheese-makers.

SALSA plus Beer – as above but specialised for Beer producers.

SALSA and the organic sector

SALSA and Soil Association Certification, the UK’s leading organic certification body, are offering small businesses wishing to combine organic certification and a SALSA audit a special one-day option combining both,  saving them money and resources.

The dual-audit recognises that a significant number of requirements are common to both standards, and that time and cost savings can be passed on to members.  Audits will be carried out by SALSA-approved auditors who have been trained and approved by Soil Association Certification.  Find out more and register your interest here.

The SALSA website

Helpline: 01295 724248.

SALSA is supported by the Food Standards Agency, Cask Marque, Red Tractor Assurance, and the Specialist Cheese Makers Association.




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