How can SQF Fundamentals Help to Grow your Food Business?

Implementing SQF Fundamentals Benefits Food Entrepreneurs and Primary Producers

Many small businesses are unaware of the SQF Fundamentals program and how it can benefit their sales. Essentially, SQF Fundamentals allows food industry entrepreneurs and small-to-medium primary producers to expand their marketplace while also placing themselves on the road to full GFSI certification. As stated by the SQF Institute:

Built as a step-wise approach, The SQF Fundamentals Program is designed to help you integrate robust food safety standards into your existing practices, while creating a pathway to achieving globally accepted GFSI certification.

In short, SQF Fundamentals is a robust starter program for food-related businesses that are not yet ready to step up to a more rigorous full SQF certification. It comes in two flavors – basic and intermediate. Achieving a SQF Fundamentals certificate requires less of a financial investment and is quicker to achieve than the full GFSI-approved SQF certification process.

What are the Benefits of Achieving a SQF Fundamentals Certificate?

Acquiring an SQF Fundamentals certificate (and yes, you do actually receive a certificate!) for your business demonstrates a commitment to food safety that builds on a HACCP Plan. It also positions your business to better pursue a full GFSI-compliant SQF certification at a future date.

Will a Fundamentals Certificate Satisfy Retailer and Distributor Food Safety Requirements?

Well, it depends on the retailer or distributor. Some will; some won’t. It certainly puts your business ahead of other similar-sized organizations that are competing for their attention. We suggest discussing this with prospective retailers and distributors in advance.

How can your Organization get Trained on SQF Fundamentals?

The SQF Institute is using a three pronged approach to address the learning and access needs of various Fundamentals audiences:

  • Online course (focus is on the Intermediate Level)
  • Paper-based, self-directed learning tools
  • Instructor-led training by approved licensed trainers

Where can I get more Information about SQF Fundamentals?

The SQF Institute has an abundance of free information about the SQF Fundamentals program. Here is a good overview of the SQF Fundamentals program with downloadable brochures and videos.

Can I Use a Consultant to Help my Organization Achieve a SQF Fundamentals Certificate?

Yes. Using an experienced SQF consultant familiar with the Fundamentals program can save you time and money. A consultant will help you navigate the process and prepare for the certification audit. Consultants can leverage their experience and knowledge to expedite achieving a SQF Fundamentals certificate.

The Bottom Line for Food Manufacturers and Primary Producers

SQF Fundamentals is an affordable “half-way” step for small-to-intermediate food manufacturers and primary distributors to get a leg up on competitors and broaden their marketplace. And if you have a HACCP Plan already in place, it is a logical investment to gain more market acceptance. Plus, it puts your business on the road to a full GFSI-approved food safety certification that opens a world-wide market for your products or services.

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