EQAsce asked Mrs. Marlies Becker from Lloyd’s Register questions about the joint development of a new standard. Ms. Becker has been a lead auditor, lead trainer and project manager for Lloyd’s Register Deutschland GmbH since 2015. Her focus is on quality, environmental, occupational health and safety management and Safety Culture Ladder. After studying teaching and training as an industrial specialist, she specialized in the areas of occupational safety, health and environmental protection and has qualifications as a hazardous materials officer (IHK), occupational safety specialist, quality manager, environmental consultant, and environmental auditor.
EQAsce: What do you think about the timing – regarding the special time of the Corona pandemic – for thinking about a new standard called “Total Safety Culture in Agrifood Chains”?
Mrs. Becker: Especially in times of crisis, a comprehensive cultural approach is of great importance. For example, the recent scandals in the meat processing industry have made it clear that rethinking must take place. In addition to food safety, issues of employee health and safety and animal welfare are moving into focus. The social mindset is gaining in importance.
EQAsce: What do you see as the most important facilitating, and possible inhibiting factors for the joint standardization initiative of Lloyds Register and EQAsce with their respective experts and networks?
Mrs. Becker: The joint standardization initiative of EQAsce and Lloyd’s Register is a response to the existing need for guidance on how to implement a culture approach. For example, standards such as IFS 7, BRC 8 and FSSC 22000_ V5.1 require a Food Safety Culture without specifying exactly how this should be designed.
I consider the inhibiting factors to be small in view of the great benefits. The challenge at the beginning is to get major players in the food and agricultural sector on board who can and want to take a pioneering position.
EQAsce: What roadmap for establishing the standard have you agreed on in the expert group? Which additional groups from industry and science would you like to include in the core working team as soon as possible?
Mrs. Becker: EQAsce and Lloyd’s Register plan to jointly develop a “Total Safety Culture Standard in Agrifood Chains” with several pillars.
The expert group of EQAsce and Lloyd’s Register is well positioned, although additional cooperation with large groups in the food and agricultural sectors seems to me to be useful for sustainable success.