SQF Certification in the Food and Beverage Industry

Greg Matranga
By Greg Matranga | October 25, 2019
Vice President of Global Marketing

Fact checked by Stephen O'Reilly

Consider for a moment a wave, a surfer’s wave, rolling powerfully and inexorably toward shore. Curling and spraying foam, the wave is unstoppable. Atop the wave stands the rider lucky enough to catch it at just the right time. The wave is contract manufacturing work. The rider is the contract manufacturing organization that prepares for and captures work with large, well-known food and beverage manufacturers. The surfboard on which the contract manufacturing organization stands is made up of two important components: food safety certification and SPC, or statistical process control.

Ride the Wave of Contract Manufacturing with SQF Certification
Not just any contracting company can work with these large brands. They’re wary of working with anyone who isn’t qualified or competent enough (i.e., certified) to care for their logos. There’s a lot on the line in food and beverage; contract companies that meet the demanding qualifications to work with these big hitters in the industry are few and far between.
And your organization can become one of them, riding the wave all the way to increased profits and revenue.

Compete and Win SQF Certification

If you want to be more competitive and win more contract business from these well-known food and beverage manufacturers, then you need something special on your resume, but something that’s very attainable: SQF certification. The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) is one of the most recognized third-party organizations that sets the standards for food safety and quality. The SQF food safety management program helps companies control food safety risks—and win those precious contracts. They give you the surfboards you need to ride the wave.

SQF food safety management program is your surfboard


There are a lot of companies vying for this business. Makes sense. Who wouldn’t want it? Working with big, highly successful, national or multinational food and beverage companies is a huge feather in your cap—and money in your pocket. For these companies, the biggest worry is to protect their brand and their customers’ health. If they were to use the services of a company that couldn’t keep things safe, consistently maintain quality, and protect their brand, they’d be putting everything at risk.

SQF Institute
These brands rely on organizations like SQFI that establish food safety guidelines and quality standards, conduct audits, and award certifications. And a big part of the SQF certification is adherence to SPC methodology and practices in your manufacturing operations.

Why SPC?

SPC on the Shop FloorStatistical process control is an industry-accepted practice that helps you minimize production costs, optimize product quality, and significantly reduce risk, defects, and inconsistencies. It’s a data-driven methodology that removes the guesswork from quality control.
As the industry standard for verifying the safety and quality of food supplier manufacturing practices, SPC provides real-time insights into products and processes that validate supplier compliance with industry regulations. Everyone collects data, but not many companies make good use of all the data they’ve collected. SPC software helps suppliers mine insights that enable them to reduce risk, improve consistency, and lower operating costs.
Many of the world’s largest food and beverage companies require the highest level of SQF certification, which requires an SPC solution.

Why Is SQF Certification Important for Me?

SQF programs are designed to mitigate risks associated with consumer health and industry profitability. According to sources, approximately one in four food and beverage industry companies require their suppliers to obtain SQF certification. That’s nearly 15,000 companies (now you see why this is a wave). By completing the SQF programs, food and beverage manufacturing contractors demonstrate to major brands that their food safety and quality systems can be verified and validated at each level of the supply chain. This benefits everyone involved (especially consumers).
Knowing this, consumers can feel certain that they’re purchasing safe, high-quality products, suppliers can protect their profits from costly recalls (and front-page stories of harm to consumers) that damage brand image, and sites at every level of the supply chain can continue their trusted and profitable relationships with major food and beverage brands.
SQF certification ensures safe, high quality products

The Programs

There are three primary levels of SQF certification available in the SQF Compliance and Integrity Program:
  • SQF Fundamentals Program
  • SQF Food Safety Program
  • SQF Food Safety and Quality Program
These rigorous programs—your surfboard for riding the wave of winning these contracts—are recognized worldwide by food and beverage providers from every level of the supply chain. Working your way through all three programs, particularly the SPC-focused SQF Food Safety and Quality Program (#3 on our list above), enables your organization to compete for those coveted contracts—and ride the wave to success.
It’s important to know what to expect when you embark on an important program like this. It’s important for your company’s bottom line, for well-known food and beverage manufacturers who rely on contract facilities, and for the consumers who purchase the finished products.
Read the white paper: Win More Business with SQF Certification

Read the other blogs in this series:

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