The phrase “fake it ’till you make it” should hold no place in the food industry

Food fraud costs the global food industry approximately $49 billion per year. But what is food fraud and how can you protect your business from it? Food fraud is a collective term encompassing the intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or packaging, or false or misleading statements about a product, all for economic gain. Although food fraud certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, the issue is growing in importance, thanks to ever-increasing complexities in the global food supply chain and new regulations suppliers have to adhere to.

Now more than ever, you need to take serious preventative approaches to reduce the risks that food fraud poses to public health and safety, food integrity, and your brand’s reputation.  A single incident can permanently destroy a valuable brand, cause long term industry-wide losses, close off export markets and damage trust in public institutions.

Beyond the food safety vulnerabilities, food fraud creates tremendous economic harm and undermines peoples’ trust in the food supply chain, extending to companies, the food industry and even public institutions. Addressing and preventing food fraud is important to sustain economic growth, to maintain the flow of food across longer supply chains, to increase consumer trust in the economy, and to maintain social harmony.


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Using Teamwork to Achieve the Gold Standards of Food Safety

Putting together a successful food safety and quality program can seem like you’re preparing for the Olympics.  It takes commitment, dedication, resources and skills.  Whether you’re training for an individual or a team sport in the Olympics, there are multiple people that need to be involved in order to achieve success.  This mirrors the preparation for your food safety and quality programs.  In today’s world, teams are different than they were in the past.  They’re far more diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic.  But while teams face new hurdles, their success still hinges on a core set of fundamentals for group collaboration and a shared mindset.

In a recent article put out by the Harvard Business Review, they discuss what matters most to collaboration is not the personalities, attitudes, or behavioral styles of team members. Instead, what teams need to thrive are certain “enabling conditions.”  In our food safety and quality world, this can be obtained with management commitment, employee training and recognizing success.

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New year, new you! What are your Resolutions?

It’s 2018…and we’d like to take this opportunity to officially wish all of our stakeholders a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

It’s a new year…this is a perfect time for a fresh start and to reset some habits and behaviors that aren’t making you be the best you possible.  What makes you come alive?  Are you honoring your calling and following your path?  Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?  A resolution is simply a course of action that you have decided on that you are determined to complete.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by vowing to make resolutions that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making New Year’s resolution you can keep!

  • Just pick one thing
  • Plan ahead
  • Anticipate problems
  • Pick a start date
  • Go for it
  • Accept failure
  • Plan rewards

At SQFI we have a new code and have set the bar high with our resolutions, otherwise known as goals, on a business level but in this newsletter you’re going to learn about our personal resolutions for 2018.  Make sure to ask us how we’re doing with our resolutions when you see us out and about!

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”—– Howard Thurman.

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Don’t Count the Days – Make the Days Count

Food safety has always been a passion and concern of the professionals whose jobs center on the protection of the food manufactured or grown for consumer consumption. As we reflect on our experiences from this past year, we wanted to extend our gratitude for your hard work and dedication to keeping the food supply chain safe.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

-Muhammad Ali

For the food industry, food safety management has become more than an “acquired taste”. Robust programs are a pillar for many companies within the industry, however, there is still much work to do. Management commitment and the presence of a strong food safety culture within an organization are the keys to success for these programs. A top-down, bottom-up commitment to food safety can significantly lower risks to your company’s reputation and costly product recalls.

Culture can be defined as the “personality of an organization” and measuring a personality is not easy. Establishing a company-wide positive food safety culture means obtaining the necessary management commitment to courageously confront decades of old practices and change baked-in behaviors and values.

In 2011, The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) helped to shift our food safety mindset from reactive to proactive. SQFI has responded in kind by making changes and updates over the course of the past year to help companies nurture a food safety culture that is both preemptive and positive.


SQF Code Edition 8

This year, SQFI proudly launched the SQF Code Edition 8.  With the release of the upgraded program, the goal was to re-design the Food Safety and Quality Code to fit the needs of the operation and industry sectors, update system elements and Good Industry Practices, and focus on the latest food safety issues and regulatory requirements.  We went from 1 big standard to 7 distinct industry-specific programs and eliminated our Level categories.  With the release of the upgraded program, we provide our stakeholders with relevant and robust resources to address the changing regulatory and food safety landscape and take the scope of our food safety and quality programs to the next level.  One major modification to the SQF Code is our approach to food quality certification.  The Edition 8 Quality Program is formally Level 3 and although sites must remain certified to the SQF Food Safety Code related to their industry, the outcome of the quality audit does not affect the score or rating of the food safety audit.  We’ve changed the scoring of the quality audit to just pass or fail, and incorporated feedback from both retailers and suppliers to make the program more robust.


SQF Food Safety Code for Food Retail

SQFI announced its newest certification program, the SQF Food Safety Code for Food Retail. The certificate is designed for any retail and wholesale grocer wanting another layer of brand protection to help ensure they are properly protecting consumers.  The program covers the system elements, and Good Retail Practices for retail, wholesale and grocery.  The program outlines that there will be a review at the corporate and individual store level with an option to participate in a Multi-site program.


Refining Communication Tactics

With the vast and ever-increasing number of events, training classes, program developments, and educational resources that are being developed and hosted by SQFI, we found it was necessary to re-think our primary communication strategy for 2017 to achieve greater visibility with stakeholders and create a better experience for customers. To meet this goal, SQFI implemented a monthly newsletter that consolidates our events and information and facilitates a thought-leadership exchange in the food safety, quality and ethical sourcing industries. As a result, our new communication strategy experienced a 25% increase in member engagement.


Food Safety Across the Globe

Today’s consumer wants to buy both local and global products, expect more diverse product offerings, and obtain their food through a variety of different channels.  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 a global standard that is truly farm to fork.

SQFI’s international outreach included travels to Guadalajara Mexico to exhibit and present at Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria and our Supplier Seminar Series trip to Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. During our journeys abroad, we met with regional retailers, suppliers, government officials, and other food safety professionals to discuss the impact of FSMA’s Foreign Supplier Verification, the future of food safety, and recent program developments at SQFI.

Back in Washington, D.C., the China Food and Drug Delegation visited SQFI to gather our expertise on U.S. regulations, learn about the SQF Program and FMI Food Safety resources, and explore how we can work together to keep food safe throughout the supply chain.  These visits proved that food safety has no borders and marked a fantastic opportunity for the SQFI team to engage with the major retailers of the region and discuss mutual developments in food safety.


As we reflect back on our experiences over the previous year, we recognize that “success does not happen in a vacuum and that you’re only as good as the people you work with and the people you work for”. From all of us at SQFI, we would like to thank you for your unwavering commitment to food safety and wish you a safe and merry holiday season.

– The SQFI Team


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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.


“生产从农场至餐桌的安全食品是所有食品零售商和制造商的当务之急,”SQFI 高级副总裁 Robert Garfield 说道,“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.”


SQFI 年度最佳审核员

授予具有杰出表现并已获得认证的 SQF 审核员。

  • 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


  • 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.  这使供应商能够向其客户保证,在各级供应链均根据最高标准进行食品生产、加工、准备和处理。此外,作为食品营销协会 (FMI) 的分部,SQF 计划纳入了零售商对于消费者问题的持续反馈。这些信息被传递至 SQF 认证供应商,使他们在激烈竞争中始终领先一步。

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 启动“食品质量准则”电子学习计划

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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