By: Sarah Malenich, Director, Sales & Marketing, Safe Quality Food Institute
You are the sales director for a food manufacturer with a great new product. You have been selling regionally through specialty stores. You are ready to ramp up with larger grocery distribution.
You know your product is great and ready for prime time because you have your finger on the market’s pulse. You know what’s hot, which trends are cresting and you are primed to introduce your product at just the right moment to grocery.
Your buyers are going to require you to have documentation and provide easy traceability of your suppliers throughout the supply chain. Knowing your food safety protocols, compliance and third-party verification is important in every new trading partner conversation.
You will be pitching your new product to food retailers who are the “tip of the spear” when it comes to satisfying customers. They know how important food safety is to their customers, and how cautious they can be.
You need to have a working knowledge of your food safety management systems, raw and packaging materials, your document controls and records retention, approved supplier programs and environmental monitoring processes. In addition, because of the new FSMA requirements you will be asked about your allergen management program along with your food defense and food fraud plan.
Consumers today demand food safety to be in place. So how do retailers instill confidence to the consumer that the products they are buying from us are at the safest and highest level quality they can be? This is where the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) comes in. SQFI manages the SQF program, which is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system.
SQF is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, packaging and distribution. With the release of the SQF Code Edition 8, the SQF Program now also has a certification for retail and wholesale grocers. This enables suppliers to assure their customers that food has been produced, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible standards, at all levels of the supply chain.
Additionally, as a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the SQF Program incorporates continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. This information is passed on to SQF certified suppliers, keeping them a step ahead of their competitors.
SQFI has developed lots of great resources and tools you can use to help keep food safe globally. To this end:
- We work with 33 Certification Bodies
- We have 35 official licensed training centers globally.
- The SQFI website and code can be read in 5 different languages.
- We have a dedicated FSMA resource page where stakeholders can go to view information about the rules and regulations,
Check out the:
- SQF Preventive Control Audit Checklist
- SQF Produce Safety Rule Audit Checklist
- The latest updates on the FSVP rule.
- The SQF trainings and events globally,
- The free learning lunch webinars (that are done in other languages)
As a food manufacturer seeking healthy trading partner relationships, we encourage you to be food safety ready.
Our SQF team can assist at any time