It’s Time To Focus On Quality

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”  —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Continuous improvement is not just something we preach at SQFI…it’s something we practice.  Keeping a diligent watch on the food safety and quality industry and creating relevant and timely updates to our program is the cornerstone of the SQFI mission and vision.  That’s why we’ve updated The SQF Code edition 7.2 to edition 8 and have modified our approach to food quality certification.   The September Edition of the SQFI Newsletter is focused on the new Quality Code.  We decided to modify the Quality Code because we found that the interpretation of quality elements wasn’t being addressed and we wanted to address that concern and find a solution for the suppliers.    We also learned suppliers were hesitant to go to level 3 because they didn’t want their food safety certification affected.

The SQF Quality Code provides the opportunity for companies to implement a comprehensive Food Quality Plan, with identified controls to reduce complaints and improve product consistency. Suppliers currently certified at SQF Level 3, will need to be certified in the SQF Quality Code.   We encourage all suppliers to consider this certification to improve their food safety and quality systems.

We are also excited to launch our new official SQFI on line Quality Code training class!  The SQF Quality Systems for Manufacturing training course is intended for quality, technical and managerial staff working in food manufacturing who seek to understand and differentiate between food safety management and quality management, and who are intending to implement the SQF Quality Code or update their current quality system to Edition 8.  A certificate of attendance is issued upon successful completion of the course.  The online version eliminates travel costs and gives you 30 days to complete the course.  To register for the online course click here.

There are 5 main points to remember regarding our Edition 8 Quality Code:

  • Formerly Level 3
  • Sites must remain certified to the SQF Food Safety Code related to their industry
  • Can be audited as an extension of the food safety audit or stand-alone
  • Quality audit is not scored or rated
  • Outcome of the quality audit does not affect the score or rating of the food safety audit


Tell us about what role Quality Certification plays in your facility?

Download a copy of the code

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“Audit Ready All the Time” – What it means to become an SQF Select Site

It’s essential to be audit ready. Hence the phrase: “Being audit ready all the time.” In fact, good food safety and quality practices should be adhered to and practiced on a consistent basis. Not just when your auditor or inspector is scheduled to arrive. We have created a program that takes suppliers to the next level of commitment and readiness, The SQFI Select Site program.

The option of becoming an SQFI Select Site isn’t available until January 2, 2018 but we would like to formally introduce the new program and get you acclimated to it. It’s important to start thinking about participating in the program.  Sites may continue their annual announced recertification audit schedule or, new under SQF Edition 8, may choose to participate in an annual unannounced audit which, upon successful completion, will designate the facility a SQFI Select Site.  Below is the explanation and definition you’ll find in the SQF Edition 8 code.

Transparency is the new black.  Meaning, everyone wants to look good in it!  However, being transparent about your food safety and quality processes isn’t something that is achieved overnight.  If truth and candor were systematic in corporate practice and in the regulatory protocols, your buyer could make informed decisions about purchasing your product. It takes a strong food safety culture followed by effective training and engaging communication, to tell the story to your stakeholders that you’re committed to food safety.  By volunteering in the SQFI Select Site program, it communicates to your stakeholders that you are committed to food safety and the transparency of your processes.

More information about the SQFI Select Site can be found in any SQF Edition 8 code, or you can email SQFI Customer Service at to submit an inquiry or ask questions.


Take our survey and let us know if you’re interested in participating in the SQFI Select Site Program.

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How to Send the Message you are Committed to Food Safety and Quality

In the latest report of the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2017, when asked the question: Where do shoppers believe food safety problems are most likely to occur along the supply chain, 49% of consumers believe that most food safety problems occur at the manufacturing/processing level.  To protect consumers, retailers are now expecting more from their supplier’s food safety and quality processes.  We believe one way to accomplish this is to be transparent about your food safety and quality programs by marketing and advertising your SQF Certification.


Do your customers know you’re SQF Certified?  You should wear your SQF Certification loud and proud!  You’ve done the hard work and diligence’s that it took to become SQF Certified…why not shout it from your facility rooftop and let your buyers know what you’ve accomplished!  In the 2017 July edition of the SQFI Newsletter we want to highlight the importance of marketing and advertising your SQF Certification to your buyers and provide tools and resources you can share with your marketing team to utilize your SQF Certification in new and creative ways.


Because of the reputation and recognition that the SQF brand has to buyers and suppliers, showing that you are SQF Certified will send a message that you are committed to food safety and quality, and believe in the vision of doing your part to ensure that safe food is delivered to the consumer.

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Food Safety Experts to Discuss Technology’s Impact on Brand Protection and Consumer Confidence

June 22, 2017 – ARLINGTON, VA – Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), will participate at the Specialty Food Association Summer Fancy Food Show and discuss the impact of food safety on food retail businesses and their suppliers. In addition to the session, the association’s food safety team will host a Food Safety Lounge to help specialty food manufacturers and retailers navigate options for food safety and quality programs and compliance.


  • LeAnn Chuboff, vice president of technical affairs, Safe Quality Food Institute
  • Robert Garfield, chief food safety assessment officer and senior vice president for Food Marketing Institute, responsible for managing the Safe Quality Food Institute, an international food safety and quality management program recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative.

WHAT: This session will identify the trends in food safety and how new technology impacts food safety, brand protection and consumer confidence. It will also provide core food safety principles and an approach that small, local suppliers can use to build their own food safety and quality systems that prepares them to meet regulatory requirements and retailer expectations. The Food Safety Lounge is open to all exhibitors and attendees and SQFI representatives will be there to address any questions, concerns and provide the latest updates about all SQF programs.

WHEN: Monday, June 26, 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. ET

WHERE: Summer Fancy Food Show, New York, NY

WHY:  Garfield commented, “Food safety is a culture that must be developed within a company, and like other disciplines, it must be managed. The future of emerging technology and food safety regulations can weigh on a supplier’s brand, but programs like SQF can create efficiencies and support compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. As more food retail businesses engage smaller, local suppliers, they need strategies to build food safety systems and assurances for their customers.”

Background: FMI announced its partnership with the Specialty Food Association on May 18.

For media: The show is trade press only and registration is required either online at or onsite at the show.

About FMI

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit

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.


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SQFI Monthly Newsletter: June 2017 – A Safer World. A Smarter You.

A Safer World.  A Smarter You.   SQFI is dedicating the June edition of our newsletter to the 2017 SQF International Conference.  In the next few pages we’ll introduce to you to our program schedule, tell you more about our fabulous keynote speakers and last but not least announce our Wednesday night social event.  Don’t delay registering for one of the food safety industries most popular educational conferences!  Early Bird Registration ends July 31, 2017.  Click here to check out some video from the 2016 SQF International Conference.

Three basic priorities we have as humans are to insure that we have:  A roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food for our mouths.  As food safety and quality professionals living in the 21st century our priorities have evolved to insure:  My facility is audit ready all the time, I have a clear understanding of FSMA and I am ready for it, I’m effectively engaging upper-management to gain their commitment for our food safety and quality programs…and the list goes on and on!  Another priority you need to add to that list is to attend the SQF International Conference.  The SQF International Conference, now in its 12th year, brings together food safety and quality professionals in the growing, processing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and retail industries that are committed to protecting their brands, buyers and consumers.

Why you need to make being in Dallas in November a priority:

  • To ensure you are properly prepared to implement Edition 8 of the SQF Code
  • To share ideas with your peers and develop and strengthen business relationships
  • To stay informed about changes and updates to all SQF programs and standards
  • To get updates on hot-button issues such as FSMA, the SQF Retail Code, Gluten-Free Certification, Allergen Labelling and Ethical Sourcing
  • To personally connect with the SQFI and FMI Food Safety Teams


Are you having a hard time getting out of your office and or convincing your boss to make attending the 2017 SQF International Conference a priority? Download a copy of the justification letter and modify to send to appropriate parties.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”  Attend the 2017 SQF International Conference…Make it a priority…Make the world a safer place…and Make a smarter You!

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FMI Promotes Four Seasoned Food Safety and Regulatory Staff Members

ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announces the recent promotions of four managerial staff members who embody the organization’s strategic emphasis on the food safety and regulatory environment.

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SQFI Monthly Newsletter – May 2017 – Training for Success

” The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training your employees and having them stay.” – Henry Ford,  Ford Motor Company

At SQFI, we believe that creating a safer food supply can only be accomplished by demanding excellence at every stop along the food chain. And for us, that chain starts with training. Whether you’re a line worker in a food facility, a corporate decision-maker for a multi-national food company, a consultant assisting a facility prepare for an audit, or a member of an auditing body, itself, – training is an essential first step in the management of a successful food safety system.

This month, we invite you to join us as we examine the importance of training, education, and professional development in the food safety workplace.


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Be A Leader…Not A Follower! Present at the 2017 SQF International Confernce

2017 SQF International Conference
Hyatt Regency
November 7-9, 2017
Call for Proposals
Deadline: April 10, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST

We are accepting your presentation ideas to share insights, best practices, emerging trends, groundbreaking research and critical industry updates in the area of food safety and food quality certification and retail food safety at the 2017 SQF International Conference. The SQF Conference audience is most interested in important industry trends, innovations and practical how-tos that can be implemented immediately. Please submit your ideas, well-grounded in the trends, issues and solutions that will provide attendees with the knowledge and skills they need to formulate, implement and strengthen their food safety and quality assurance programs and advance their careers.

You are required to review these guidelines before you submit your proposal.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, April 10, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST, however, this portal will be closed once we receive 100 entries.

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Safe Quality Food Institute Maintains Vigilance of the Food Supply, Launches Edition 8

Safe Quality Food Institute Maintains Vigilance of the Food Supply, Launches Edition 8

APRIL 5, 2017 – ARLINGTON, VA – The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a global leader in third-party food safety and quality certification, announces the release of SQFI program edition 8, which addresses all areas of the food industry – from primary production through the supply chain to consumers’ hands at their grocery store.

The most notable change to the structure of the program is the separation of the food safety and quality requirements into individual assessments, customized for each industry segment and covering more than 35 supplier and food sector categories: produce and livestock; manufacturing; distribution; manufacturer of food packaging (e.g., glass bottles, plastic containers); and a new program specific to food retail.

The separation of the assessments offers a new approach to quality audits. The SQF Edition 8, Quality Program is now independent of the Food Safety Program and provides sites the opportunity to assess their quality systems either separate or in conjunction with their food safety certification audit.

“SQFI is taking the scope of our food safety and quality programs to the next level.  With the release of the upgraded program, we are continuing to provide our stakeholders with relevant and robust resources to address the changing regulatory and food safety landscape.” said Robert Garfield, SQFI’s Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer & SVP.  “We are also excited to announce the release of SQFI’s newest certification program, the SQF Food Safety Code for Food Retail.  The SQF Food Safety Code for Food Retail is for any retail and wholesale grocer who wants another layer of brand protection to help ensure they are properly protecting consumers.”

Garfield stated, “Continuous improvement is not just something we preach at SQFI, it’s something we practice. Keeping a diligent watch on the food safety and quality industry, and creating relevant and timely updates to our program is the cornerstone of the SQFI mission and vision.”

Edition 8 replaces the SQF Code, edition 7.2, and is valid for all certification and surveillance audits conducted after January 2, 2018. Those sites with an existing SQF certification will be required to upgrade their processes and procedures to meet the requirements outlined in edition 8 by that date.

For Media:

  • Join the SQFI team at noon eastern on April 6, 2017 for a free webinar that will explain and examine the changes made in edition 8. SQFI will also host a webinar on April 27 at noon Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST). Register now at
  • For more information about SQF Code, Edition 8 please visit

About the SQF Program

Recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world who require a stringent, credible food safety management system, The Safe Quality Food Institute delivers 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.  Administered by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), SQF benefits from continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns which are passed on food suppliers.


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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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