THE American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA) announced an important change to several of its third-party certification programs.
Starting in October, the administration of the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, Pet Food Manufacturing Facility Certification Program and Pet Food Ingredient Facility Certification Program will be handled by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI).
With the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act by Congress and the growing global recognition of third-party certification programs by the food industry via the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the time is right to take these programs to the next level of expertise, professional administration and global recognition by the industry and regulators, AFIA said.
AFIA and SQFI signed a joint program implementation and marketing agreement to bring these three AFIA third-party certification programs into the SQFI family of programs. SQFI is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world that require a rigorous, credible food safety management system.
The new agreement will bring a number of benefits to program participants, including open access for their choice of multiple, approved certification bodies for the audit and use of SQFI's certification program to help reduce multi-program inconsistencies and associated costs of multiple audits.
The SQFI Program is recognized by GFSI and links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification.
GFSI is an approved (benchmarked) choice of third-party food safety certification programs that are accepted by many in the retail food industry for their supplier's participation. This benchmark would bring immediate significant value to the three certification programs, according to AFIA.
SQFI's mission is to deliver consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors and valued by all stakeholders.
Because of this, AFIA said it believes SQFI makes a great partner for offering and administering the feed and pet food industry certification programs.
AFIA will continue to provide technical support and expertise to the three certification programs as well as training, marketing and promotion for the programs.