The days of the successful “mom and pop” food manufacturing facilities have passed. Nearly 5 years ago, PACA Foods embarked on a mission to not only declare its commitment to Food Safety, but to also demonstrate that commitment by significantly investing in our personnel, our facility and our systems. This demonstration was completed under the auspices of the Global Food Safety Initiative and more specifically by following the standards established under the Safe Quality Food (SQF) path. PACA achieved a Level II certification in 2013 and achieved a perfect score on the highest and most challenging level (Level III) in 2016.
What is GFSI
Global Food Safety Initiative or GFSI is a non-profit group that provides guidance, leadership, standards and certification on food safety and management controls for the safe distribution of food throughout the world. The world’s top experts in food safety regularly gather & work with different global organizations, governments and industries in the food manufacturing and retail industries with the purpose of sharing new information and encouraging a unified system for managing food safety from the ground to your table.
Safe Quality Food (SQF)
The path (or “scheme”) that PACA has chosen for certification within GFSI is SQF. Heightened consumer demand for increased food safety assurances now finds retailers and service providers asking suppliers to provide verifiable proof that robust food safety control systems have been effectively implemented. These systems must have been properly validated, and show evidence of continuous monitoring procedures. This is where the value and importance of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is evident:
- SQF is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world where a rigorous, credible food safety management system is required;
- The SQF certification program will help reduce assessment inconsistencies and costs of multiple assessment standards;
- As a primary scheme of the GFSI, the SQF Program links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification;
- Administered by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), SQF benefits from continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. These benefits are passed on to SQF certified suppliers, keeping them a step ahead of their competitors;
- SQF is the only scheme to integrate both quality and food safety components.
For manufacturers, SQF certification doesn’t stop at just assessing risk. The SQF standard is about limiting food safety incidents and recalls. It is also unique among certification programs in that it focuses on safety AND quality, giving retailers and food service providers around the world even more reason to seek out manufacturers, processors and distributors that have earned SQF certification.
Since SQF certification is based on government and industry food safety requirements, businesses at every level have the ready documentation they need to demonstrate the steps they’ve taken to increase food safety. In addition, the SQF program provides specialized guidance documents on standards within specific categories,
The Mission of The Safe Quality Food Institute: 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.
PACA Foods is Level III SQF Certified
PACA recognized the significance of the GFSI in 2011 and embarked on the long and challenging journey to achieve certification. It takes a strong commitment from the company’s leaders, since there is a tremendous investment of time, as well as financial and human resources. A perfect score in Level III Certification was completed in 2016, and this milestone is a tremendous achievement for both our company and our customers.
Why Level III SQF is important to you as a Customer
A rapidly growing number of retailers are requiring their suppliers/vendors to achieve NOT LESS THAN Level II certification in order to be eligible to sell their products into the retailers’ supply chain. PACA meets, and exceeds this criteria thereby ensuring that our customers meet this certification eligibility requirement. It is one less essential element of doing business with retailers that you have to worry about. The certification further illustrates that PACA Foods produces not only a high quality food product, but also offers the assurance to our customers that they are in the hands of experts in the dry food manufacturing segment of the Food Industry.
PACA Foods is dedicated to being a leader in dry food manufacturing, and all of the company’s products are developed, produced and distributed according to the highest standards, both nationally and internationally.
Call us today to let us start creating value for your company and your customers.