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What are ISO standards?

The International Organization for Standardization, established in 1946 is created with the purpose of development and proliferation of standards supporting the international exchange of goods and services in the era of global communications and markets without borders. It has over 150 members national organizations for standardization.

The standards from the ISO series are voluntary but their introduction is being progressively imposed by the market requirements for unification and guarantee of the quality of the goods and services offered. They are the basic requirements a given organization has to cover in order to prove the existence of a functioning Quality Management System.

How does the introduction of Management system help?
The introduction of a correspondingly functioning QSM in each organization is accompanied by a number of positive effects among which are:

  • Improvement of the efficiency and efficacy of the processes in the organization which leads to increased sales and respective increase of the income;
  • Access to new markets as the possession of a certificate in accordance with ISO 9001:2000 is a serious precondition for the establishment of conditions for mutual trust and cooperation between future and present partners;
  • Complete meeting of the requirements of the clients and eventual expansion of the goods and services offered.

Or in short:

  • Better reliability of the goods and services offered;
  • Better control over the processes in the organization;
  • Better documentation and tracing of the processes;
  • Greater satisfaction of the clients;
  • Expanded markets;

The realization of management systems (MS), made by INTEGRA GROUP LTD includes establishment, development and introduction of Management systems (MS) and Integrated management systems (IMS) in accordance with the international standards:

ISO 9001
ISO 14001
HSAS 18001:2007
ISO 22000:2005
ISO/IEC 27001:2005



ISO 9001

ISO 9001: 2000 is one of the most popular standards globally. Its requirements are met by more than 776 000 entities in 161 countries. ISO 9001 has long been regarded as the international standard in the quality management of commercial enterprises. Its aim is to support entities in their search for quality management meaning that they must:

  • Meet the customers requirements for quality,
  • Meet legal requirements,
  • Increase customer satisfaction,
  • Constantly improve their work.

The standard has gained an international reputation as the main standard for management systems which can be applied in every organization, big or small, irrespective of the nature of its business, the products and/or services it offers including in local authorities and the national government. Management systems refers to the management structure of processes and business activities in the organization which transform the input resources into a product or service that meets the clients quality requirement, fall within the legal requirements and correspond to the goals of the organization. The standard provides a framework of management requirements which allow the organization to focus on client demands, management of the processes and an ongoing improvement.
The benefits:

  • Maintenance of constant product/service quality and alignment with the legal requirements,
  • Constant application of the good practice,
  • Provision of customer satisfaction and adding value for the customer,
  • International recognition of the management model.



ISO 14001

The ISO standards from the 14000 series which were created in 1996 define requirements and guidelines towards an effective environmental management system through which the company guarantees to itself and the society that it can:

  • Conduct observations on the environmental impact of its production process, especially those that are defined by usage of natural resources and pollution with solid waste, harmful emissions in water, soil and air or unacceptable noise, scent, dust or vibration level,
  • Manage the environmental impact of its products i.e. its products must be designed so that they can be recycled or can be harmlessly destroyed or treated after their utilization ends;
  • Apply suitable technical, technological, organizational and other measures in order to decrease, restrict and mitigate the risks or dangers associated with pollution down to levels acceptable by the applicable international or local legislation..

Every company certified under ISO 14001 enjoys commercial and social benefits. By incurring tax deductible inherent environmental protection expenditures the company saves on fines and other types of financial loss. Such company enjoys a positive image in the society and proves that it is committed to protecting the environment in which we live.
The large global companies certified under the ISO 14001 firmly place a requirement for ISO 14001 certification to all its suppliers and subcontractors. An ISO 14001 institution has better chances to qualify for external financing of investment in the field of environmental protection.
The standards requirements are to a great extent compatible with the requirements of other international standards (for example ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 27000, ISO 22000), which to a great extent facilitates the adoption of several standards at a time or the upgrading of existing and function management system based on another international standard.



HSAS 18001:2007

The BS OHSAS 18001:2007 standard consists of requirements regarding the system for management of healthy and safe work environment which also allows its evaluation and certification. The standard offers a system model which can allow the entities to set and manage the processes for provision of healthy and safe work environment by setting priorities for the main elements which form a working management system.
OHSAS 18001:2007 is compatible with ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 and is organized on the basis of plan-do-check-act (PDCA), stressing on the need for a constant improvement of the work environment and the applied system as a whole. The main legislature in healthy and safe work environment is the law with the same name and the Labor Code, as well as some other ordinances and the application legislature.



ISO 22000:2005

Companies, which already have functioning HACCP systems must decide whether and how they should adapt these systems to ISO 22000.
ISO 22000 requirements that all hazards that may occur along the food chain must be defined and evaluated, including those related to the applicable processes, packaging and machinery. As a result of the evaluation the hazards which must be controlled by the company and those that must be controlled by its suppliers must be clearly identified.
The ISO 22000 requirements are base requirements; they do not contain specific information that is relevant only for a certain industry. They can be applied by any company which needs to introduce an effective food safety management system, regardless of the type, size, product or a place in the food chain.

ISO 22000 accepts and approves of the significant differences among the companies within the food chain and sets the mechanisms through which the smaller or less developed companies can apply modern prerequisite programs and HACCP-plans.
The advantages of the system for food safety management ISO 22000 are:

  • It systemically identifies and controls the hazards and evaluates the risks;
  • It is focuses on preventive measures which allow hazard elimination or the containment of its impact within acceptable levels;
  • It creates opportunities for an effective and regulated food safety control;
  • It increases responsibility regarding food safety for all participants in the food chain;
  • It provides the framework for safe food production and consumer health protection;
  • It raises the companys profile on the domestic and international market;
  • It increases market share for the company,
  • It protects the company in cases of conflict of interests.

ISO 22000 advantages lie in the fact that it is internationally recognized and can be used for certification purposes along the whole food chain and by all types of food producers.
The standards requirements are to a great extent compatible with the requirements of other international standards (for example ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001) which greatly facilitates the simultaneous adoption of several standards or the upgrade of an existing and functioning management system to ISO 22000.



ISO/IEC 27001:2005

The information together with the technical resources and software, the infrastructure and its environment are important assets for every entity and must be safeguarded. By the term information we refer to the variety of forms and sources in which it is contained printed or written on paper, on a magnetic disc, sent by post the usual or electronic mail, in the form of text, diagrams, tables, graphs, photographs, film, sent or received over the telephone or transmitted in a direct conversation, as well as other forms and sources. The information security means that at least three of the features of the information services are provided, maintained and developed:

  • Confidentiality,
  • Completeness,
  • Availability.

The information security is guaranteed even better if in addition to the before-mentioned features three more are added: authenticity, accountability and reliability.
The systematic way of obtaining information security is through special management systems. They form part of the general management system of the entity involved and include requirements regarding the processes and practice of development, application, utilization, observation, revisions and improvement of the information security management systems.
Similar to other standardized management systems the information security management system includes elements such as organizational structure, policies and planning activities, responsibilities and delegations, processes procedures and resources. The information management systems do not preclude and do not discard the need of specific technical resources and information safeguard software. On the contrary these resources attain a new meaning and have an enhanced effect and the successful simultaneous utilization of the system and the technical resources provides measures against an overestimation of the treats and inadequate level of information security.
The international standard ISO/IEC 27001 contains requirements for the management systems which must be applied specifically for any entity depending on its size and structure, and depending on its real security needs its security goals and the factors which impose threads.



The big grocery store chains periodically audit its suppliers in attempt to ensure that they have undertaken the necessary measures for the safety of the food sold. These audits are performed by independent auditors, part of certification entities.
In 2002 experts from the German Association of Retailers (Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels HDE) developed a common audit standard called International Food Standard (IFS) in an attempt to create common requirements for the safety of food items. Then, in 2003, the French Association of Retailers (Federation des enterprises du Commerce et de la Distribution FCD) became part of the IFS working group and participated in the development of the IFSs new version.

The standard is based on the following criteria:

  • Management of the quality system,
  • Accountability of senior management,
  • Resource management,
  • Product Development,
  • Metrics, Analysis, Improvement

Retails chains such as Metro, REWE, EDEKA, Aldi, Tangelmann, AVA, Globus, Markant, Lidl, Spar, COOP and Migros participate in HDE. Among the French retailers who participate in FCD are Auchan, Carrefour, EMC-Groupe Casino, Metro, Monoprix, Picard Surgeles, Provera (Cora and Supermerches Match). Every company that produces for the label of a German or French retailer has to undergo an audit on conformity with IFS.



In 1998 the British Retail Consortium created the world foodstuff standard with the purpose of minimizing the frequent audits of companies who produce under the label of the grocery store chains. BRC Global Standard Food is an internationally recognized standard for management of food safety and it has recently been revised so that it can meet the EU requirements and international good practice. The fourth version of the standard was published in July 2005.
The standard has a wide range of applicability among all areas of food safety and it is directly applicable for food producers and retailers. The purpose of BRC Global Standard Food is to establish a level playing field in the evaluation of food processing companies which supply British food retailers.
The standards format and contents allow a third party independent evaluation of the infrastructure and the supplier management system thus harmonizing the food safety criteria. The standard encompasses the following critical areas:

  • HACCP system,
  • Quality management,
  • Infrastructure and work environment,
  • Control over products and processes.

BRC Global Standard has long become an international measure for quality. The retail chains, the food producers, the importers of food, the suppliers of ingredients and all sectors that are directly or indirectly related to the food industry can benefit from the advantages provided by this standard. BRC is widely used by entities from all around the world.