A company must take the time to dedicate resources to understanding the requirements as well as understanding which stage of law making each requirement is currently in. This takes time but is very important, as it can assist in the overall, long-term strategy on compliance. Be a constant student of FSMA and watch for opportunities to interact with regulators and others through industry forums.
This is key to successfully preparing for the new requirements internally.. Consider forming a FSMA steering team and bring in key stakeholders regularly to align and discuss key gaps and action plans. Communication and organization for compliance are critical. Remember if one retailer fails with regard to food safety, it affects consumer trust for all retailers. We must work together.
This is probably the most challenging piece of FSMA implementation, especially if a company has waited until now to begin the journey towards compliance. There are many pieces that must come together to meet the new requirements.
Stay the course! Continue to meet with your steering team. Update the company on the status of the pieces of legislation. Visit each affected area of the company and identify who can assist in managing the message. Be consistent in your delivery of the status and the next steps required. Encourage stakeholders and provide guidance and assistance. Gradually, you will begin to see movement.
It is no secret that FSMA compliance takes resources, money and time. It also takes expertise and good planning. This is one example where starting from the top level in your organization and working down makes the most sense.