ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA), a member-based organization with broad industry support from more than 30 major retailers in the grocery, drug, mass merchandiser, club store channels and manufacturers, is in the final stages of completing a comprehensive set of consensus-based standards for the auditing and inspection of suppliers and manufacturers. These standards will cover dietary supplements, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices.
This is a unified set of criteria that will be available to retailers for the auditing of vendors. The goal is to achieve a harmonized audit approach across multiple product categories. These standards, based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), will reduce the number and associated costs of audits, while strengthening safety, quality and trust throughout the supply chain. NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, is facilitating the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development process on behalf of the GRMA. The resulting auditing program and identification of future standard development will be overseen by the GRMA and managed by the GRMA Governance Board, which includes members from across industry, including Gemini Pharmaceuticals, Costco, Wegmans Food Markets, HEB Grocery Company, United Exchange Corp. and First Quality.
Mike Finamore, CEO of Gemini Pharmaceuticals, has been selected as inaugural president of the GRMA Governance Board. “It is an honor to be part of such a unique group that is truly dedicated to improvements throughout the supply chain of products found on the retailers’ shelves. This process will serve to consolidate audits and inspections across a broad array of products under an ANSI-accredited standard to ensure only the highest quality of products are available to consumers,” said Mr. Finamore.
Christine Summers of Costco, the inaugural vice president of the Governance Board, commented, “From the beginning, I have been most impressed about the voice that retailers and the public have had in this process, as we now have a standardized, comprehensive audit standard based both on regulations and on best-practices to reaffirm our quality commitment to our customers.”
The GRMA program manager for NSF International is Casey Coy. “It has been a rewarding effort to work with each of the retailers, manufacturers, regulators, certification bodies and other stakeholders to address and improve the current third-party auditing environment. With the development of the consensus standards using the ANSI standards development process and the formation of the GRMA, the bar of quality has been raised and will allow for a more streamlined avenue of vendor qualification,” stated Casey.
About GRMA: The Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMAlliance.org) is a store brand industry initiative driven by retailers, manufacturers, trade associations, certification bodies, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders seeking to improve quality, safety and regulatory compliance to ultimately benefit the customer.
About NSF International: NSF International (nsf.org) is a global independent organization that develops standards, and tests and certifies products to these standards for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.