We’re Mad about Management Commitment and Culture this March

Culture can be defined as the “personality of an organization” and measuring a personality is not an easy task.  Obtaining management commitment and establishing a positive food safety culture within an organization can mean changing behaviors and values that have lived in your facilities’ walls for decades.  But as Bob Dylan once said “The Times They Are A-Changin” and with the establishment of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) the focus of food safety has now shifted from reactive to proactive, and at SQFI our attention to management commitment and food safety culture can be added to the list of robust elements reflected in Edition 8 of the SQF Code Releasing March 31, 2017.

When the intent and encouraging attention of a positive behavioral change within an organization is targeted, other optimistic effects shift naturally and fall into place that lead to success.

We all have different skills and mindsets that we bring to work and it is good management commitment and a positive food safety culture that synthesizes our unique strengths into a consistent and quality product.

Know what mindsets you bring to the table and recognize when they must change!

Do you take responsibility, or are you always the victim?

Do you only speak facts or do you start and/or promote gossip and exaggerations?

Do you help make ideas successful or do you stand in the way of progress with pessimism?

Do you take the lead on fixing incorrect procedures or do you cast them aside for someone else to deal with?

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SQFI: Making your Food Safe and Sustainable

Years ago, when things were a little simpler, our food came right from the land we lived on or from our neighbors down the road.  You knew exactly where things came from and what you were getting.  As populations grew in size and large groups of people moved to cities, the local supply of food had to be supplemented with food brought in from other places. We needed more. A lot more!

Today, our food comes from all around the world. It might be grown, raised or harvested down the road, across the country or on the other side of the ocean. It comes to us on boats, trains, planes and trucks. Then we fill our grocery carts with it and take it home to our families.

SQFI not only manages the SQF Program, but we also manage the SQFI Ethical Sourcing Program.  We are bridging the gap and connecting the dots from how our food is grown, manufactured, processed, packed and shipped with making sure those actions are done ethically and sustainably.

In our “prosumer” world, consumers utilize their stake in the market to advocate for safer, better quality products and to dictate how those products are made. Scandals connected to forced labor, child labor, pollution and lack of corporate transparency directly impact the choices consumers make, which creates a ripple effect throughout the supply chain. The SQFI Ethical Sourcing Standard (ESS) effectively reduces these negative risks by addressing each of the above issues.

The ESS is a voluntary supplement for companies who are committed to ensuring socially and environmentally responsible practices in food production. The ESS is a system that combines growing and processing food with environmental and social stewardship. This system embraces ethical and transparent practices, with care taken in the treatment of those who grow, harvest, and manufacture food across the supply chain, and with respect given to the health of consumers.

The ESS for food harvesting and manufacturing is a tiered certification program that provides a set of benchmarks demonstrating an organization’s commitment to ethical sourcing in the following areas:

            Social Management: Social management programs under the ESS safeguard against discrimination and harassment in the workplace, promote transparent and lawful wage practices, and advocate fair labor practices that are non-exploitive and free of forced labor.

            Environmental Management: Energy consumption, water use, waste management and pollution prevention are critical to ethical business practices. The ESS addresses these issues, as well as occupational health and safety, regulatory compliance, equipment maintenance, and incident management to verify safe working conditions and reduce negative environmental impacts.

            Monitoring and Management Review: This critical component of ESS includes internal audits, monitoring, record keeping and management review. Here, corrective and preventative action takes place and senior company officials address employee concerns.

            Flexible, Three-Tier Certification: The Ethical Sourcing Standard allows for flexible, three-tier certification options, each with a growing demonstration of the ESS’s provisions. Companies can choose the level of certification to pursue and are awarded certification upon successful completion of their audit.

Our mission has always been to deliver consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification that is based on sound scientific principles, valued by all stakeholders, and consistently applied across all industry sectors.  In the best interests of consumers, food businesses, retailers, and society as a whole, we believe that the time has come to turn our collective attention to the sustainable and ethical sourcing of products throughout the supply chain.  We invite you to join us in this discussion, and help us encourage the highest global standards of ethical behavior in the food industry.

 

For more information about the SQFI Ethical Sourcing Standard, please visit www.sqfiethicalsourcing.com.

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One World.  One Standard.  One Email…well kind of! 

Starting in January of 2017, SQFI is changing the way we communicate with our stakeholders!  Instead of sending multiple emails each month advertising individual events and updates, we will now be sending our communications via a monthly e-newsletter. Our goal with this newsletter is to reduce the amount of emails we send to our stakeholders and facilitate more of a thought-leadership role in the food safety, quality and ethical sourcing industries. Truly facilitating a safer world and smarter you!

Our newsletter will keep you up to speed on new events and videos, supplier spotlights and the latest food safety, quality and ethical sourcing news, while providing opportunities for you to get involved in our many initiatives and trainings.  Additionally, it allows us to consolidate all of our messaging into one monthly e-blast so we don’t overwhelm your inboxes. It’s free, it’s open, and anyone can sign-up to receive it.

Thank you for your continued support of the SQFI Programs! Please be on the lookout for our February Newsletter which you can expect to see in your Inboxes on February 17th.

Best regards,

  • The SQFI Team

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FMI Foundation and SQFI Announce 2016 Food Safety Auditing Scholarship Recipients

FMI Foundation and SQFI Announce 2016 Food Safety Auditing Scholarship Recipients

November 2, 2016 – ARLINGTON, VA – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation in conjunction with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) introduced 10 recipients of the 2016 Food Safety Auditing Scholarship at the SQF International Conference, held October 25-27 in Orlando.

This award recognizes extraordinary students enrolled in a university food and agricultural science program who have a passion in pursuing a career in food systems auditing. Each winner received a $3,000 scholarship with an all-expense paid trip to the SQFI conference to network with the more than 700 food safety professionals in attendance.

“It continues to be an exciting time in the food industry as the age of the Food Safety Modernization Act drives food safety standards,” Senior Vice President of the Safe Quality Food Institute Robert Garfield said. “As the food industry continues to evolve and grow, we need more exceptional young professionals pursuing careers in food systems auditing. We’re pleased to offer this opportunity for students to gain exposure to the food industry.”

“The need for capable food safety auditors will be even more important in the future and I am delighted we had such a talented group of applicants this year,” Susan Borra, RD, executive director, FMI Foundation, said.  “Nearly all of the 2016 recipients are in the process of pursuing an advanced degree in the areas related to food and agriculture science.”

The recipients of the 2016 FMI Foundation Food Safety Auditing Scholarship are:

  • Gabriela Arteaga Arredondo, Texas Tech University
  • Hannah Beuse, Iowa State University
  • Jose Brandao Delgado, Louisiana State University
  • Madhumeeta Dutta, North Carolina State
  • Anna Sophia Harrand, Cornell University
  • Brenda Inestroza, Texas Tech University
  • Emily Mason, McGill University
  • Pedro Menchik, Cornell University
  • Deepak Kumar Duraivelu Rajmohan, Oklahoma State University
  • Libia Ortiz Tellez, ITESM Monterrey Institute of Technology

For additional information about the Food Marketing Institute Foundation and the Scholarship program http://www.fmifoundation.org

For information about Safe Quality Food Institute http://www.sqfi.com/

About The FMI Foundation:

Established in 1996, the Food Marketing Institute Foundation seeks to ensure continued quality and efficiency in the food retailing system and is operated for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. To help support the role of food retailing, the FMI Foundation focuses on research and education in the areas of food safety, nutrition, and health. The FMI Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

About the Safe Quality Food Program:

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. 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. www.sqfi.com

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Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) Names ReposiTrak to Spearhead Database Facelift

For Immediate Release

October 24, 2016

Media Contact                                                                            

Sarah Malenich; Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)

202-220-0660 – smalenich@sqfi.com

Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) Names ReposiTrak to Spearhead Database Facelift

 Arlington, VA – The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program, recognized globally by retailers and foodservice providers that require a rigorous and credible food safety management system, and Park City Group’s subsidiary, ReposiTrak®, Inc., the leading provider of Compliance Management and Track & Trace solutions for food, pharma and dietary supplement safety, are partnering to integrate SQF audit management into ReposiTrak’s Compliance Management System.  The move will benefit SQFI’s thousands of registered suppliers, in addition to its certification bodies and auditors, in managing the audit process from initial request and payment, through collection of results and reporting.  As part of the initiative, ReposiTrak will host and provide exclusive access to SQFI’s audit results database.

Importantly, the partnership also enables SQF-registered suppliers to leverage ReposiTrak’s Compliance Management System to collect and manage all of their vendor documents in one place.  This includes SQF-required documents such as a current register of approved vendors, along with 3rd party audits and food safety plans, in addition to other vital business documents, such as signed vendor agreements, certificates of liability insurance and letters of continuing guarantee that also reduce brand risk.

“This is an exciting time at SQFI, as we look to rollout out version 8 of the SQF Code, a new Retail/ Wholesale Grocery Program, and start gaining extensive supplier and buyer use and support of our Ethical Sourcing Certification,” said Robert Garfield, Senior Vice President of SQFI.  “We were looking for a technology partner to help us raise the bar not only with our data management and reporting, but also with upgrades to all of our user interfaces.  It made perfect sense to partner with ReposiTrak because of their experience in the industry and technical capabilities.”

“We are happy to provide SQFI registered suppliers with a holistic platform to manage their food safety documentation, audits, and processes,” Randall K. Fields, Chairman and CEO of Park City Group and ReposiTrak.  “We value our endorsement from the Food Marketing Institute for traceability and document management services, and we are pleased to support SQFI and their technology needs.”

 

About the Safe Quality Food Program

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. 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.  www.sqfi.com

About ReposiTrak

ReposiTrak provides food retailers and suppliers with a robust solution to help them protect their brands and remain in compliance with the rapidly evolving regulations in the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Additionally, ReposiTrak enables traceability as products and their ingredients move between trading partners.  ReposiTrak is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Park City Group (NASDAQ:PCYG) and was co-founded with Leavitt Partners.  More information is available at www.repositrak.com.

 About Park City Group

Park City Group (PCYG) is a Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) provider that brings unique visibility to the consumer goods supply chain, delivering actionable information to ensure products are available when and where consumers demand them, helping retailers and suppliers to ‘Sell More, Stock Less, and See Everything’. Park City Group’s technology also assists all participants in the food and drug supply chains to comply with food and drug safety regulations through the Company’s ReposiTrak subsidiary. More information is available at www.parkcitygroup.com.

 

 

 

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SQFI Develops Preventative Controls Audit Checklist and Guidance

Consuming safe food is a basic human right we all have and being in the food safety industry gives us all the opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of food safety requirements. According to the FDA, the “Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years…” We at SQFI realize the importance of this reform and have taken the necessary steps to create additional resources that will assist our stakeholders strengthen their food safety programs and meet the robust requirements of the FSMA PC rule. In response to FSMA, SQFI has developed a voluntary Preventive Control s audit checklist and guidance document for stakeholders to use as a guide for identifying the necessary steps to bridge any gaps between a company’s SQF Program and the PC rule.

SQF Preventive Control Audit Checklist Guidance Document

SQF Preventive Control Audit Checklist

It is important to note, however, that using these documents does not guarantee compliance – nor does it absolve the supplier from ensuring that they meet all aspects of the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food.  While this checklist is voluntary and will not be scored, it is a valuable tool to help suppliers identify and understand any differences between the SQF Program and the PC rule.   We will be having a webinar to go over these documents and how to implement them on September 27, 2016.  Check www.sqfi.com/events for more details and to register!

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Safe Quality Food Institute Endorses the Gluten-Free Certification Program

Offering a Management System Approach to Controlling Gluten

Arlington, VA June 17, 2016

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program, recognized globally by retailers and foodservice providers who require a rigorous and credible food safety management system, is proud to announce the formation of a strategic partnership with the Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG), owners of the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP).

As the gluten-free market continues to forecast high-growth, brand owners who are committed to protecting their name require increased food safety and verified evidence before making regulated gluten-free claims. SQFI recognizes that the GFCP is a quality program and recommends the GFCP to suppliers seeking a gluten-free certification.

The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) is a voluntary science-based program designed for manufacturers and brand owners committed to producing safe, reliable gluten-free products for consumers suffering from celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The program requires the implementation of stringent, risk based and preventative gluten-free controls, which easily combines with a globally recognized food safety management system.

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About the Safe Quality Food Program
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program, a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only major system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers third-party accredited certification for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management.

About the Allergen Control Group Inc.
The Allergen Control Group Inc. (ACG) is a privately held corporation which owns and operates the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), endorsed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness now operating as Beyond Celiac in the USA and the Canadian Celiac Association.

For news and media information, please contact:
Sarah Malenich, Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)
Phone: 202.220.0660
smalenich@sqfi.com

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SQFI Announces the 2015 SQFI Quality Achievement Award Winners

Sarah Malenich
Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)
202-220-0660
smalenich@sqfi.com

SQFI Announces the 2015 SQFI Quality Achievement Award Winners

Arlington, VA– The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) recently announced the SQF Quality Achievement Awards at their 2015 International Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. These five awards recognize individuals and organizations that contribute to and improve the SQFI program’s global mission to provide a rigorous and credible food safety management system. Finalists in each category were honored and recognized during the conference.

“Producing safe food from farm to fork is a top priority for all food retailers and manufacturers,” said Robert Garfield, Senior Vice President of SQFI. “This year’s winners of our Quality Achievement Awards demonstrate how SQF Certification goes beyond a simple food safety audit to inspire a comprehensive food safety system with checks and balances along our global supply chain.”

SQFI Auditor of the Year
Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding performance as a credentialed SQF Auditor.
• Heena Patel – Technical Director, Supply Chain Food Safety Audit Services, SCS Global Services

SQFI Trainer of the Year
Awarded to a registered SQF Trainer who has contributed significantly to promoting the SQF
mission and supporting SQF stakeholders in implementing robust food safety and quality
practices.
• Jeffrey Strout – Technical Services Independent Trainer, Mérieux NutriSciences

SQFI Practitioner of the Year
This award is given to an SQF Practitioner or an Individual within an SQF Certified facility or company, who has demonstrated accomplishments in driving continuous growth and has taken their facility or company above and beyond the SQF Program.
• Cory Robertson – Quality Systems Coordinator, Redpath Sugar Ltd. (A member of ASR Group)

SQFI Manufacturer/Distributor/Primary Producer of the Year
Awarded to an SQF certified manufacturer, distributor, or primary producer who has shown a commitment to excellence through the SQF program.
• Publix Super Markets, Inc.

SQF Distinguished Service Award
This award is given to an individual who has freely shared his/her time and expertise throughout the industry in the areas of food safety.
• Bill McBride – Principal and Managing Director of Foodlink Management Services and SQFI Australia Representative

Congratulations again to all the winners! You have gone above-and-beyond portraying extraordinary understanding and commitment to global food safety and the SQF program!

For details and more information about the SQF Quality Achievement Awards winners, please visit www.sqfi.com.

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only certification system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers certificates for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. 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. www.sqfi.com

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SQF Level 2 Certification gets you ready to be FSMA Compliant

We’ve done our homework…and we got an A! SQFI knows that our stakeholders have questions about how SQF Certification will prepare them to be FSMA compliant, and now we’ve answered those questions. SQFI contracted The Acheson Group (TAG) to compare the elements of SQF Level 2 Certification (specifically Modules 2 and 11) to the FDA FSMA Final Rule requirements. The analysis examined the two major aspects of the Final Rule: the new preventive controls requirements that industry must comply with in order to implement the requirements of Section 103 of FSMA, and the updated current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) (current 21 C.F.R. Part 110 now re-designated as Part 117).

As the food industry looks to protect consumers, customers, and their brand as well as successfully be in compliant with the final new rules, TAG’s analysis indicates that being SQF Level 2 certified is a very robust, strong advantage to fulfilling FSMA requirements.

Click here to read the executive summary

Click here to read the entire analysis

Additionally, the FDA has provided factsheets and flowcharts on the FSMA webpage for each rule.  These documents are an entry point to understanding who is covered under each rule.

Links to flowcharts and  key facts:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472891.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472461.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472499.pdf

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The FSMA Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food rules are now final

The FSMA Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food rules are now final. The preventive controls final rules were announced on September 10, 2015 and incorporated thousands of public comments, including valuable input from farmers, consumers, the food industry and academic experts, to create a flexible and targeted approach to ensuring food safety.

SQF Certification prepares a company for FSMA Compliance in the below areas:

  • Supplier Controls
  • Building an Effective Food Safety Plan
  • HACCP and HARPC
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Verification and Validation
  • Management Commitment
  • Being Audit Ready All the Time

At SQFI we strive to deliver consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors, and valued by all stakeholders. We invite you to join us at our 2015 International Conference where we will are offering a FSMA Workshop: Understanding The Final Rule For Preventive Controls For Human Food as well as having a high level FDA Executive to Keynote speak on FSMA in 2016 and beyond.

You can also read a comparison of the FSMA Proposed Rules to our current SQF Program here.

For more information on the FSMA Final Rules:

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