Retailers and foodservice providers often establish operational policy standards requiring trading partners to have a GFSI-benchmarked food safety management program. We take pride in our privileged status as a leading food safety standard for supplier assurance, acknowledged by both regulators and retailers.
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The SQF program has achieved endorsements for many retailers’ supplier approval processes as an approved certification system. Major retailers and brand owners who recognize GFSI accept all GFSI benchmarked certification standards, including SQFI, for supplier food safety assurance. The SQF certification brings world-class food safety management to a commonly accepted benchmark. In addition, it also reduces the audit burden for suppliers while ensuring retailers' consistency in product safety and quality, meeting their specifications.
SQF partnered with these organizations to develop tailored audit addenda that complement SQF audits to address customers’ unique product and process specifications. Some brand owners and regulatory bodies may require additional checklists or addenda. Check with your retailer or brand owner for the latest update to their requirements. Be sure to ask your customer about SQF alignment with their requirements.
The SQF Preventive Controls Addendum can be added to the SQF certification audit by U.S.-based facilities and foreign suppliers to demonstrate compliance with the U.S. FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements. Buyers can rely on the results of the SQF Certification audit with the Preventive Controls addendum to assess supplier conformance with U.S. regulations.
McDonald’s has approved the use of the Primary Produce Addendum coupled with SQF certification for all produce suppliers globally. This approval complements the existing McDonald’s addendum for food manufacturing for SQF-certified sites. Suppliers inform their certification body, such as NSF, that they require the McDonald’s addendum when they apply for the SQF certification audit. There are three McDoanld’s Addendums you can request from your certification body:
Yum now accepts SQFI food safety certification for their supply chain partners.Food producers, processors, packaging manufacturers, and storage and distribution partners to Yum! Brands certified to a GFSI benchmarked standard, such as the SQF Food Safety Code, will not be required to have the additional Yum! food safety audit. SQF is endorsed by Yum! Brands for food and packaging suppliers and storage and distribution services approval.
Request your SQF certification audit for Costco from your certification body. Costco requires its supplier food safety audits to be unannounced. There are two options to request:
Sellers wishing to market their dietary supplement products on the Amazon platform must have a valid good manufacturing practice (GMP) certificate in compliance with 21 CFR 111, issued annually by an accredited third-party certification body. Amazon accepts SQF certification to fulfill this requirement.
After April 2024, Walmart will require all North American egg suppliers to have food safety certification for their laying operations, coupled with the Walmart Best-In-Class Addendum. SQF is the only accepted certification for this requirement. Request the Walmart Best-In-Class Addendum with your SQF audit from your certification body. Your Walmart category manager can provide the food safety requirements documents you need.
Suppliers to Whole Foods Market will be directed to receive a food safety audit or certification. Very small suppliers may be eligible for a SQF Fundamentals Verification (FVA) remote assessment rather than an onsite certification audit. Ask your Whole Foods contact to confirm if they will accept the SQF Fundamental Verification Assessment (SQF FVA) for your company to be approved.
If you are a brand owner or retailer seeking to streamline your supplier management process, SQF is a reliable and resourceful partner to support this transition. By adopting GFSI benchmarked SQF certification in place of your proprietary customer audit, you can save your team and your suppliers time and money.
We coordinate with you to evaluate your standards against the applicable SQF Code, determine gaps, and develop an addendum or audit guidance for approved certification bodies to utilize during the SQF audit.
As we see the commonality between customer requirements and any gaps, SQF can incorporate these learnings into the next SQF Code Edition. This collaborative process keeps retailer and brand owner expectations as the focus of our program evolution, ensuring globally recognized and aligned standards for consistency in supplier management.