This helps brokers understand their obligations under food law including the need to register as a food business.
What a food broker does
A food broker is a business that purchases, ‘takes title to’ or has legal ownership of food for resale to other businesses such as:
- other brokers
Often the difference between food brokers and other food business operators (FBOs) is that they take legal ownership of the food and not physical possession.
You are classed an FBO because you are supplying food to other businesses even if you may never take physical possession of food.
Registering as a food business
As an FBO you have to register your business with your local authority 28 days before you intend to trade.
If you are already trading and have not registered you need to do so as soon as possible. Registering your business is free of charge.
Good practice advice
Use only reputable and trusted suppliers. For new suppliers, you could visit their facilities to ensure they are clean and their products are produced to a high standard.
Consider implementing an industry recognised management system, such as:
- BRC Global Standard for Agents and Brokers
- ISO 9000
- IFS Broker Certification
- if product is handled, the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety or BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution
- Safe and Local Supplier Approval for small businesses (SALSA)
- Food Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Wholesale Distributors
- Food Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Vending and Dispensing
Consider becoming a member of a Trade Association. Trade associations help their members by offering specialist advice, particularly of a technical and legal nature.
Read about Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.
Ask your local authority for help and consider the Primary Authority Scheme.
Published: 26 February 2018
Last updated: 14 April 2023