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What is SQF Certification?

What is SQF Certification?

If You Care about Your Food Products, Shouldn’t You Care About the Quality of How They’re Handled?

If you’ve just started in the food industry, you might ask, “What is an SQF Certification?” In this post, we’ll answer that question. We’ll also provide some details of what the standards are.

What is an SQF certification?

SQF stands for safe, quality food. It’s an internationally recognized system designed and administered by the SQF Institute.  The institute sets the standards for companies in the foodservice industry. They’re designed to keep food production and preparation safe.

What are SQF standards?

These are standards put in place to ensure that companies manage food safety risks appropriately. A company may apply for certification as a way to assure clients that they are practicing good hygiene and handling food correctly.

Basic food hygiene, like workers washing their hands before handling the food, make the world safer for all of us.

What are the SQF Levels?

There are three levels in total:

  • Level 1: This applies in cases where there are fewer risks, and it is the most basic level.
  • Level 2: Here, they set more rigorous standards. GFSI has created the benchmarks. Level 2 is a food safety plan that is HACCP certified.
  • Level 3: This is the highest standard and includes the same processes as Level 2. It’s a more comprehensive application of the rules.

The SQF Institute publishes the full list of codes here.

Why is SQF certification important?

There are several reasons why it’s so important. Let’s go over these.

It Helps You Manage Your Risk

Companies today are held accountable for any negligence in production. Being held accountable is especially important when it comes to food. This certification ensures that your company is effectively managing the risks associated with food.

It’s Essential if You Want to Expand Your Business

If you’ve been considering licensing your brand or expanding your market, it’s essential to be compliant. If you want to work with more prominent brands, certification is critical.

Your Customers Expect It

One out of four companies who are certified expects their suppliers to get certified as well. Can you afford to lose a quarter of your clients?

New Regulations will Make it Essential

Governments are changing their regulations concerning food safety. They’re becoming a lot stricter. Getting certified now will help you meet the new requirements.

What is the difference between GFSI and SQF?

SQF is the standard set by one institute. GFSI is a network made up of many manufacturers and retailers. This organization determines what the basic benchmarks are when it comes to food safety.

There are several food safety certifications out there. The GFSI helps to set the basic standards for all of those. They’ll also monitor the different standards bodies to ensure that they’re meeting the minimum food safety requirements.

The standards body certifies your company. The GFSI ensures that the standards are in line.

Final Notes

These food safety standards are imperative in dealing with the risks of handling food. Without them in place, we’d have no way of ensuring that suppliers were hygienically handling the food.

Pro-Tips For Rocking Your Next Trade Show

Pro-Tips For Rocking Your Next Trade Show

Just Like Your Product, Plan to Stand Out and Be Amazing

If you’ve ever worked a boring booth at a trade show, you’ve most likely been the victim of the “avoiders.” Those passers-by who liken you to Medusa and refuse to look your way for fear of being turned to stone.

You notice them by the way they engage actively with booth 1145, take a quick glance at your booth with that lonely poster and brochure, and then, hurriedly walk past you with their eyes carefully averted. After enough of these avoiders, you may start to wish you had some of those smiley-faced, squishy stress-balls to throw at them.

This year, with some careful planning and a little creativity, you may be able to grab people’s attention and keep them engaged without resorting to assault and battery.

Obviously, the lengths that you go to create interest at your booth may be limited by your budget, so it’s important to think about what this trade show means to your business and how engaging 10, 50, or even 1000 target individuals may bring more work your way in the coming months.

Once you’ve got your budget ironed out, you can start getting those creative juices flowing.

Get Out Your Lasso

You know from experience that the hardest part of working a trade show booth is getting people to look at you, right? What if your booth looked like they just stepped into the hottest casino in Vegas? Or, they’re stepping into a game show hosted by loud and enthusiastic individuals?

Being active and/or unconventional is key to attracting attention. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, and here are some favourites to get your mind flowing:

  • Superhero or celebrity photo ops. Invent a superhero to represent your company and have him or her available for photo opportunities with booth guests. It may seem a bit corny, but it works. The same is true for celebrity lookalikes. Be sure to get their card so you can send them the pic after the show.
  • Wheel of Fortune. Nothing screams “come here now” than the chance to win fabulous and exciting merchandise (or your services).
  • Create a treasure map leading to your booth. This may require some cooperation on the part of the venue, but placing arrows or words on the floor that lead people to your booth can create intrigue and bring people in.

Whatever you decide, make it fun and interactive. Think Disneyland for adults.

Build Excitement in Advance of the Show

Regardless of what genius idea has emerged from your mind, it’s important to create a sense of anticipation among your clients and prospects. Sending out formal printed invites or periodic emails revealing a little something more about what’s in store for them when they visit will get them chomping at the bit to visit your booth.

Have Quality Informational Products to Hand Out

You get very few chances to make an impression once you get people into your booth. Once they’re there, make your efforts count by providing them with unique, high-quality informational products that will not just stay in the bag in the closet when they get home.

Follow-up After the Show with Everyone

Hopefully, your venue will provide a mailing list of all of the participants so you can send out follow-up correspondence to those you saw and those you missed.

If no list is provided, be absolutely sure you get business cards from the people you talk to and connect with them ASAP! The more opportunities you have to make an impression, the better.