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The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) recognized four companies — Coles Supermarkets, Silliker Inc., NSF International and Stemilt Growers — for their commitment to the SQF program during an award presentation at the SQF International Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Coles is one of Australia’s largest retailers and has a long-standing commitment to SQF. The grocer has served as a resource and advocate for the SQF program with its suppliers throughout Australia. The company continuously works with auditors and certification bodies to help improve SQF and is committed to requiring certification throughout its supply chain. Coles is an active participant of the SQF Technical Advisory Council and provide technical support for the development of updated SQF standards and guidance documents.
“In 2006, when Coles re-launched our Coles Brand Supplier Approval Program utilizing third-party food safety certification, SQF1000 and SQF2000 were two of the global standards which Coles chose to work with,” said Marion Bray, Coles supplier and product quality manager. “The SQF standards have provided our suppliers with the guidance and direction needed to provide safe, quality products for our customers. Coles is proud of our association with the SQF Institute, and our program would not have achieved its current level of success without their support.”
Established in 1914, Coles has more than 2,200 retail outlets providing fresh food, groceries, general merchandise, liquor and fuel to its customers.
“Producing safe food is a priority for all food manufacturers,” said Jill Hollingsworth, group vice president of food safety programs at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), parent group of SQFI. “Achieving SQF certification provides verification that a supplier’s food safety and quality management system complies with international and domestic food safety regulations. This enables suppliers to assure their customers that food has been produced, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible standards, at all levels of the supply chain. We are pleased to recognize these companies for their commitment to food safety.”
The honorees were selected based in part on their support of the SQF program, their ability to follow the SQF training protocol and their overall commitment to food safety.
Other winners were Silliker Inc., for its strong support and growth of the SQF certification program globally; NSF International, an independent public health and safety organization involved in the SQF training program and in reviewing SQF training materials; and Stemilt Growers, a Wenatchee, Wash.-based cherry grower and tree-fruit shipper that was one of the first suppliers to become SQF certified in North America.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies in the United States and around the world, including 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies.