July 20, 2018

Meeting Food Safety Standards: Not Impossible for Emerging Brands

By: Julie Pryor, Director, Emerging Brands, Food Marketing Institute, and Sarah Malenich, Director, Sales & Marketing, Safe Quality Food Institute

As an emerging brand, you’re almost ready to move your product to the next stage of assembly. You worked hard to guarantee its greatness and ensure the packaging catches the consumer’s eye. Production is set to ramp up now that you landed the partner who’s providing capital, market access, and the business advice you need.

That new potential partner asks a question you think is easy to answer, “Is your product safe?”

Without hesitation, you reply, “Of course, it is!”

Their response: “Prove it.”

Food Safety Challenges Facing Emerging Brands

As an emerging company, production processes tend to be small, utilize shared facilities or even outsource production. Burgeoning brand leaders don’t have the resources to throw at the problem or the expertise in-house.

To meet federal regulations and growing consumer demands for accessible product information, food must be traceable forward and backward through the supply chain. An outbreak of E. coli or salmonella beyond your production facility will lead food retailers to look for indications of comprise in the supply chain. You’ve got to be able to quickly verify it wasn’t your production process. And if it is you, it’s important to have policies and practices in place to immediately halt production, notify retailers and begin proper damage control.

This is a known challenge for small and medium-sized food producers as well as manufacturers, but it doesn’t have to be a set-back.

A customized solution to fit your small or mid-sized company’s food safety circumstances.

The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) has created its Fundamentals program to help you protect your brand from the risk of recall and satisfy your buyer’s requirements.

The New SQF Fundamentals program leads you step by step through the process of integrating food safety standards into your existing practices and eventually to globally accepted food safety certification.

Regardless of your situation, there is a way for you to benefit. There are separate Fundamentals programs for manufacturers and primary producers. There is a basic program and an intermediate program, which focuses on documenting your food safety standards.

SQFI established a three-pronged approach to expertly address the learning and access needs for varying audiences:

  • Online – easily accessible via laptop, self-paced and no need for travel
  • Instructor-led – allowing face-to-face knowledge sharing among peers and immediate expert advice
  • Paper-based – self-directed and low-cost

Join us for a free webinar on the SQF Fundamentals program at noon EST on Tuesday, July 24.

Verifying the safety of your products and the supply chain through which they flow is vital, but there is a path for emerging companies to take through the process.

Providing learning, connections and mentoring, the FMI Emerge subscription-based program can be found at www.moreshelfspace.org.