Who Needs SQF Certification?
SQF Certification is widely recognised throughout North America, Australia and Asia. SQF is a globally recognised GFSI standard.
Large retailers, such as Coles, Woolworths and Aldi and many of the large manufcaturers, will request BRC or certification. If you are looking to supply into these supermarkets. We help food businesses to gain SQF Certification quickly. In most cases, our clients have been requested to have SQF certification by a customer. Often they are unable to supply until they have achieved this certification. Whilst our record for preparing an SQF program is 2.5 weeks, it usually takes at least 6 weeks.
Who uses SQF Certification?
There are more than 2000 food businesses in Australia who are certified to SQF. The SQF Standard is used most commonly by: Packing sheds, FMCG manufacturers and Catering Companies
Please note: If you are a grower and an in-direct supplier to Coles or Woolworths, you may be able to use Freshcare Certification, which is a smaller and cheaper standard than SQF.
The SQF standard is based around a HACCP plan and a series of prerequisite program requirements. Almost all SQF compliant businesses within Australia comply with Level 3 – so just ignore levels 1-2 in the Module 2 (we do!).
Implementing GFSI for the first time
If you are looking to implement a GFSI based standard, then you have a choice between SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000 and Global GAP for fruit and vegetable growers and packers. SQF is probably the most simplest of these.
In everything we do, we look for the most simplest way to comply with the requirements without burdening the business with unnecessary work or paperwork.
Does a consultant need to put together an SQF Quality Manual?
It is possible to write your own SQF system without using a consultant. Our first SQF quality manual took us a week to put together. These days, we offer a streamlined service, using templates that have been honed from years of clients and auditors’ feedback. We achieve consistently very high audit scores and are manuals are known throughout the industry for being well laid out and clearly worded.
However, the internal audit will need to be completed by someone who is independent of the quality management system. This can be difficult in small businesses.
If you get too many Non-conformances, then you will run the risk of having six monthly audits, not 12 monthly audits. Therefore, you will need to pay an audit company twice, instead of once, and go through the preparation, upheaval and stress of having a two audits in one year.
SQF certification requires all major non-conformities are closed out within 14 calendar days and minor non-conformities must be closed out within 30 calendar days from the date of the audit (not the date of the audit report).
Failing an SQF audit or not passing with a low score can cost the business a lot of money in further auditing, upgrades and increased work.
We run SQF training in each of the four cities, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Our SQF Training, just like our HACCP Training, is delievred as a workshop, so there is plenty of opportunity to ask specific questions about your business and SQF quality management system.