SQF Code – Safety quality food program

Improve your capability to consistently meet customer expectations for product quality and safety while reducing audits costs of supply chain management.

Certification of your food manufacturing system to SQF Code demonstrates your commitment to the product safety, quality and legal compliance, and to ensure the protection of the consumer in both domestic and global markets at all stages of the supply chain.

What is SQF Code – Safety Quality Food Program?

The SQF program is a food safety and quality certification system including primary production, food processing and related industry, such as packaging and animal feed. It is aligned with HACCP, Codex Alimentarius and it’s based on general quality management principles.  

There are three Programs available for certification. Each programs is designed to meet the stage of development of the producer’s food safety and quality management system. The design of the programs within the code, allows every supplier, from the smallest farmer to the largest manufacturer, to be eligible for SQF certification.  

SQF Fundamentals Program 

Suppliers must establish prerequisite programs incorporating fundamental food safety controls which are essential to providing a sound foundation for the production and manufacturing of safe food. 

SQF Food Safety Program 

In addition to fundamentals requirements, suppliers must complete and document a food safety hazard assessment of the product and process using the HACCP method, as well as an action plan to eliminate, prevent or reduce food safety hazards. This program is recognized by Global Food Safety Initiative - GFSI.

SQF Food Safety and Quality Program 

In additional to fundamentals and HACCP requirements, the system is based on a food quality plan, including the control measures needed to ensure a consistent level of quality.

Benefits of becoming certified

Certification to SQF Code by an independent third-party is a requirement of most retailers, wholesalers and brand owners. Currently, many food producers have to undergo many audits based on different standards, due to the fact that there is no universally recognized standard for food. Because SQF is accepted by a large number of retailers globally, participating in this certification program will help eliminate much of this redundancy. 

Implementing and certification against the SQF Code allows you to: 

  • Build and operate a management system capable of better meeting food quality/safety requirements and legal compliance, in the countries where the finished product is sold or consumed. 
  • Provide a tool for food safety performance improvement and the means to monitor and measure food safety performance effectively. 
  • Facilitate reductions in product waste, reworking, and recall.

Getting started

To be certified, you first need to implement a system complying with the chosen program’s requirements.  DNV is an accredited third-party certification body and can help you throughout the journey starting from relevant training to self-assessments, gap analysis and certification services.  

Learn more about how to get started on the road to certification.

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