The SQF Code, Ed. 8, is a process and product certification standard created and maintained by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a division of the Arlington, Virginia-based trade association, Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The SQF Code, or standard, is based on the international standard ISO/IEC 17065 and benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) Guidance Document version 6.4 for use by all sectors of the food industry, from primary production to transport and distribution. The main feature of the SQF Code is its emphasis on the systematic application of HACCP to identify and control food safety and food quality hazards. The implementation of an SQF management system addresses a buyer’s food safety and quality requirements and provides a comprehensive solution for businesses supplying local and global food markets.
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With this standard, SQFI helps make certification more attainable for smaller companies by dividing the process into three steps: from Level 1, which incorporates fundamental food safety controls appropriate for low-risk products; all the way to Level 3, indicating a comprehensive implementation of food safety and quality management systems development.