GFSI Global Market Awards…Apply Today! Deadline to Apply is December 14, 2017

GFSI is reiterating its Global Markets Awards for a second edition. And they are better and bigger this year! The GFSI 2018 Global Markets Programme Awards will recognize five companies from across the globe, that have leveraged the GFSI Global Markets Programme in an exemplary way on their journey towards a world class food safety system. The awards include travel and attendance at the 2018 Global Food Safety conference and at the discovery tour (to know more about GFSC 2018:

Safe food for consumers, everywhere by rewarding food and beverage companies from all over the world!

GFSI’s vision is to provide safe food for consumers, everywhere. As such, Global Markets Programme Awards intent to highlight the food safety journey of companies from all over the world who have used the Global Markets Programme Awards to create an enabling environment for food safety in their organization, their plants, their farms. Therefore, GFSI has created this award which will apply to four different regions of the world: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Rest of the World. Additionally, GFSI will give a special recognition each year for a company in the country hosting the Global Food Safety Conference. This year, this special recognition will go to a Japanese company who has used the Global Markets Programme to create an enabling environment on food safety, based on the same criteria as the four awards, as GFSC 2018 is taking place in Tokyo from March 5th to 8th 2018.

A new edition with a selection committee!

During the summer a dedicated steering committee made of industry members has worked on new criteria and scoring to launch this new edition of the Global Markets Awards. Members gave a specific attention to the inclusivity of the criteria and scoring to have the most diversify applicants from around the world.

A dedicated selection committee made of food safety personalities and academics from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America will judge the Global Markets Awards. Mike Taylor, former US FDA commissioner is chairing the selection committee.

Show us your food safety journey, your food safety efforts and your food safety improvement by using the Global Markets Programme!

The Global Markets Awards intend to reward the change that a company, a farm, a plant has made by creating an enabling environment on food safety by using the GFSI programme to certification. GFSI wants to reward companies’ engagement all over the world to improve their food safety journey. The GFSI Awards Selection Committee will focus on the size of the steps of the journey that the company has made and the efforts made. Show us how the Global Markets Programme has encouraged and accelerated your food safety journey by providing an enabling environment for safer food!

The awards have seven criteria, five eligibility criteria and two additional criteria. The mandatory eligibility criteria (for the full eligibility criteria description, please see the dedicated table below) specify that a company:

–          is a food and/or beverage company

–          Has an annual revenue below $250 000 000 USD

–          Is on a food safety journey with noticeable developments

–          Has an Food Safety Management System and implementation evidences of this FSMS

–          Has a third-party conformity assessment

The additional criteria are not mandatory and any applicant can be eligible to participate with no additional criteria submitted. Eligibility criteria account for 100 points of the total possible scoring and the additional criteria account for 20 additional points of possible scoring.

To apply and to know in details the awards requirements,

GFSI is pleased to partner again with greenfence, who is generously sponsoring these significant awards for the second year in a row.

Thank you for your support.

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Another Successful and Valuable SQF International Conference in the books!

The 2017 SQF International Conference opened with a bang! With a record attendance of 862, the next few days were an engaging experience that sharpened skills and gave the attendees tools and resources needed to implement, maintain and strengthen their food safety and quality systems.

Robert Garfield, Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer& Senior VP for SQFI kicked off the conference with encouraging words for the audience and announced the ten 2017 FMI Foundation Scholarship and Travel Grant winners and the 2017 SQFI Auditor of the Year award winner. Rocio Salgado from AIB International won the well deserved 2017 SQFI Auditor of the Year award. Eva Lauve from Stemilt Growers, LLC was awarded the 2017 SQFI Distinguished Service Award, an award that is given to an individual for their countless hours of dedication and hard work in the food safety industry.

Walter Bond delivered an emotional opening keynote session that set the stage for the conference with the passionate deliverance of his life story, woven with key takeaways about thinking, executing and winning in both your personal and professional worlds. He spoke to the audience about changing your mindset and that success is a team sport.

The afternoon was spent with peers gathered at the FSC Roundtables, learning about food fraud and vulnerability and Ethics, Intuition and Reasonable Suspicion when it comes to violence or the contamination of food in the workplace. Dr. John Spink and Rod Wheeler gave compelling presentations and examples that resonated with the audience.

Attendees ended the day with a fun a lively happy hour sponsored by Tri Air Testing!

Day 2 of the SQF International Conference had been well anticipated for many months. The conference opened with the announcement of the 2017 SQFI Practitioner of the Year Award and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times Business Reporter, Charles Duhigg, and his fascinating keynote on the Power of Habit. Duhigg enlightened the audience with scientific research and real-life examples of how habits form, manage our lives and influence everything we do. Changing habits and discussing how the food safety and quality industry need to understanding them was explored by the expert panel discussion that followed Duhigg’s presentation.

The meat of Wednesday’s agenda was seasoned with breakout sessions and workshops that ranged from topics on best practices of allergen labeling management to having hard conversations about culture change, to the SQFI’s new assessment database, to understanding and trusting your gut instincts.

The day closed out with the well-anticipated SQF Town Hall general session, where SQFI’s Vice President of Technical Affairs, LeAnn Chuboff, presented on the technical and business developments SQFI has rolled out in 2017, as well as plans and goals for SQFI in the future. The session was mainly dedicated to explanations and questions surrounded by the launch of the SQF Code Edition 8 and implementing it, and keeping current with global regulatory processes.

The day closed out after an extremely fun social event where attendees put on their party hats and enjoyed old school arcade games, karaoke, and dancing while sipping on refreshing and relaxing cocktails. The event was generously sponsored by EAGLE Certification Group who won the best-dressed contests with their tide-eye t-shirts. Thanks to everyone that participated!

The final day of the SQF Conference started with a live broadcast of the webinar series put on by 3M and Neumann Risk Services, LLC about the link between food safety culture and audit preparedness. Attendees then split up into breakout sessions that included topics such as complying with FDA’s Sanitary Transport Rule, using environmental pathogen surveillance to prevent foodborne illness, and a brand owners journey implementing and using SQFI’s Ethical Sourcing standard. The conference closing keynote was given by Chipotle’s William Espey on the very important and relevant topic of maintaining brand integrity through a crisis.

As I sat and listened to William speak, his messages resonated and rang true to me. As the brand manager for SQFI and the SQF Conference, I looked around the crowded room of my engaged stakeholders and wondered how they perceived the SQFI and the SQF Conference brand. I reflected on all the hard work and long exhausting hours it took so many to put on the SQF International Conference and make it a huge success. One of many inspiring lines William said really stuck with me. He said “Be true to who you are as a brand. Be something to someone…not everything to no one.” At SQFI we are truly focused on delivering the safest and highest quality products to buyers and consumers.  I want to sincerely Thank everyone that attended the 2017 SQF International Conference, the generous sponsors and exhibitors, and the dedicated SQF Conference planning committee and FMI/SQFI Staff for delivering a fantastic conference!

Don’t forget to Save the Date for the 2018 SQF International Conference, October 23-25th…we’ll see you next year in Atlanta.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

—-John Quincy Adams

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Announcing the 2017 SQFI Quality Achievement Award Winners

Arlington, VA– The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) recently announced the SQFI Quality Achievement Awards at their 2017 International Conference in Dallas, Texas.  These 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.


« Produire des aliments sains de la ferme à la fourchette est une priorité absolue pour tous les détaillants et fabricants de produits alimentaires », a déclaré Robert Garfield, vice-président directeur du 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.”


Vérificateur SQFI de l’année

Décerné à une personne ayant démontré une performance exceptionnelle en tant que vérificateur SQF accrédité.

  • Rocio Salgado, Certification Manager, AIB International


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.

  • John Novak, President, Sokol & Company


SQFI Distinguished Service Award

Ce prix est décerné à une personne qui a offert librement son temps et son expertise du secteur dans les domaines de la salubrité des aliments.

  • Eva Lauve, Scheduling and Food Safety Manager, Stemilt Growers, Inc.


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

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10 Extraordinary Students Recognized with 2017 Food Safety Auditing Scholarship

10 Extraordinary Students Recognized with 2017 Food Safety Auditing Scholarship


November 9, 2017—DALLAS – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation in conjunction with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) recognized 10 recipients of the 2017 Food Safety Auditing Scholarship and Education Travel Grant  today at the SQF International Conference .


The scholarships recognize extraordinary students enrolled in a university food and agricultural science program interested in pursuing a career in food systems auditing. The FMI Foundation received over 80 scholarship applications this year, among them included 30 PhD candidates, 40 pursuing Masters and 13 in their junior and senior university programs.


“By partnering with SQFI on this scholarship, tour goal is to expand the pool of qualified food safety auditors and support the integrity of the safest food supply in the world,” Susan Borra, RD, executive director, FMI Foundation. “This scholarship program offers these students financial assistance to pursue a food systems auditor career path, but we also expose recipients to a networking opportunity like no other—the chance to meet and connect with food safety experts across the food industry.”


Senior Vice President of the Safe Quality Food Institute Robert Garfield commented “Auditors are on the front lines of maintaining food safety and quality at all operations and manufacturing facilities around the world.  Fostering the next generation of food safety auditors not only benefits the SQF Program, but global food safety as a whole, which in turn benefits us all as consumers.”


The recipients of the 2017 FMI Foundation Food Safety Auditing Scholarship are:

  • Ilan Arvelo-Yagua, Texas Tech University
  • Cameron Bardsley, Virginia Tech University
  • Sabra Billups, Oklahoma State University
  • Sarah Bock, The University of Georgia
  • Diego Casas, Texas Tech University
  • Emily Griep, Cornell University
  • Robyn Miranda, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Jennifer Norka, Purdue University
  • Cole Perkins, Texas Tech University
  • Kristen Saniga, North Carolina State University


Each winner receives a $3 000 scholarship with an all-expense paid trip to the SQF International Conference to network with more than 850 food safety professionals in attendance. For additional information about the FMI Foundation and the Scholarship program visit For information about Safe Quality Food Institute visit

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Food Safety Has No Borders

With the 2017 SQF International Conference right around the corner this is a good time to reflect on the fact that food safety has no borders.  In today’s world people are migrating rapidly, requiring more diverse products in their diet, and obtaining their food through a variety of different vehicles.  Protecting the supply chain has never been more crucial than it is today, and with regulatory and government rules and regulations increasing, implementing the SQF Program has never been more important to your business.

The 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 management. With the release of Edition 8 we now also have a certification for retail and wholesale grocers.  Cela permet aux fournisseurs d’assurer à leurs clients que les aliments ont été produits, transformés, préparés et gérés conformément aux normes les plus élevées possibles à tous les niveaux de la chaîne d’approvisionnement. De plus, en tant que division du Food Marketing Institute (FMI), le programme SQF intègre la rétroaction continue des détaillants sur les préoccupations des consommateurs. Ces informations bénéficient aux fournisseurs certifiés SQF en leur donnant une longueur d’avance sur leurs concurrents.

Improved food safety standards, international trade and market integration are all required to address critical issues arising from the globalization of the food supply.  As countries increase their demand for food ingredients and raw materials globally, the need to protect the consumer while promoting food safety, security, and quality throughout the supply chain is imperative.

Tell us how your organization is involved with international food safety

SQFI has developed lots of great resources and tools you can use to help keep food safe globally.  We work with 33 Certification Bodies and 35 official licensed training centers globally. Our website and code can be read in 5 different languages.  We have a dedicated FSMA resource page where stakeholders can go to view information about the rules and regulations, check out our SQF Preventive Control Audit Checklist and SQF Produce Safety Rule Audit Checklist and get the latest updates on the FSVP rule.  We have multiple trainings and events globally, as well as free learning lunch webinars that are done in other languages.

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

–Christopher Columbus

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SQFI lance la formation en ligne sur le code de qualité des aliments

WASHINGTON D.C., (October 3, 2017) – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), owner of the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), announced the launch of it’s official online Food Quality Course. The SQF Quality Systems for Manufacturing online course helps quality, technical and managerial staff at food manufacturing facilities meet the requirements of the new SQF Quality Code (formerly SQF Level 3) that will come into effect in 2018.


“We know how important training is for suppliers, and creating this online course will help suppliers reach the next level of food safety and quality to better protect their brands and buyers,” said Robert Garfield, Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer & Senior Vice President of SQFI.


SQFI partnered with Alchemy Systems to develop the Food Quality course. Alchemy is the food industry’s largest training company and SQFI’s exclusive online training partner.  The official SQF Quality Course is available on Alchemy Academy – the leading professional development resource for food leaders.


“Alchemy is delighted to combine the knowledge SQF’s Quality Code experts with our interactive learning skills to provide a low cost, high-quality training option for food professionals,” said Raj Shah, Chief Strategy Officer of Alchemy. “Food companies can now have the peace of mind knowing that their staff will receive consistent and official SQF Quality training.”


The course’s online design enables learners to take the course at their own pace and convenience. The course modules cover: Quality Concepts, the SQF Quality Code, HACCP for Quality, Statistical Process Control, and Quality Management.


To learn more: please visit:

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Racontez-nous votre histoire... faites partie de l’histoire de SQFI!

At SQFI, we are constantly improving and evolving.  Not only are we keeping a watchful eye on the safety and quality in the industry, we are always updating our program.  Our reach – and outreach – are keys to the success of the SQF program and to the industry’s goal of providing safe food to consumers.


We are currently producing a video that will speak to the mission of SQFI, SQF accomplishments, and who SQFI serves.  It will also convey the efforts of food safety and quality professionals who ingrain a culture of food safety at every level of the food chain.


The video will be unveiled at our SQF International Conference on November 7.  It will kick off the event, and powerfully convey the theme, “A Safer World.  A Smarter You.”  After the conference, the branded production will be shared with broader audiences through our website, email campaigns, and social media channels.


The piece will include eye-catching visuals and graphics, music, and professional narration.  But, what will really engage the audience are remarks from professionals who support and utilize the program.  So, we want to spotlight individuals that are going above and beyond for their organization, community and industry.


If at all possible, we would love for you to be involved in this production.  We would work with your schedule – and also ensure you are comfortable with the content.


Ideally, we are hoping all filming can take place from September 27 through October 6, 2017 – but there is definitely some flexibility with that timeframe.


Due to the multiple locations involved in interview filming, we are asking that each on-camera subject complete their own filming.  We recognize that different organizations will have access to varying equipment and resources.  With our partnering production company, we’d provide interview talking points, filming tips (ideal set-up, framing), and wardrobe guides.   Video taken on your smart phone or tablet is completely acceptable as well!


Please let me know by September 26th if you might be available to participate in this project with us.



Sarah Malenich

Director, Sales & Marketing

Téléphone : 202.220.0660

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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.  La version en ligne élimine les frais de déplacement et vous donne 30 jours pour terminer le cours.  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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