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Safe Quality Food Standard (SQF) Certification - What you need to know

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 16/02/2017


Offering a safe and high quality food to its consumers is the concern number one of every food manufacture. But this safety and quality can often be compromised if one part of the supply chain fails to deliver the required quality. Documenting the journey of each ingredient and having one certification working throughout the supply chain helps you to make sure your final product matches the highest standards.

We will today learn more about the Safe Quality Food Standard Certification, a food safety and quality program designed for producers as well as for food manufactures and distribution networks.

Based on a HACCP quality management system, the SQF Standard aims to reduce food hazard and to offer a complete supply chain support by using a prevention approach based on critical control points. Requiring more than the international and domestic food safety regulations, the SQF Standard assures customers that their food has been produced, manufactured and distributed with the highest requirements in the industry. Indeed, this is the only food safety program also covering product quality at the level three of the certification.

Worldwide adopted by retailers and by food service providers, the SQF Standard is also recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

SQF 1000 and 2000 - Which one is for me?

The SQF certification refers to two different codes, each one being a certificate dedicated to a part of the supply chain.

  • SQF 1000 System
    This system is based on the 1000 code and tailored for primary producers and growers. Its implementation requires the setup of a HACCP and the compliance to several quality requirements.
  • SQF 2000 System
    This system is based on the 2000 code and tailored for food manufactures and distribution networks.

SQF Three levels of certification

There are three levels of certification for both systems 1000 and 2000:

Level 1 - Food Safety Fundamentals
Level 2 - Certified HACCP Food Safety Plans
Level 3 - Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management Systems

Ethical Sourcing Certification

For responsible companies keen on including an ethical dimension to their SQF standard, there is an optional module which can be added to their certification. This module covers social and environmental requirements such as wage compliance, work safety or pollution prevention.


The SQF Program was founded in 1994 in Australia after a decade of food crisis leading to some critics from customers. The standard was created to improve the quality and the safety of the food industry throughout the supply chain in order to bring back customers trust. Since 2004, the certification has been administered by the SQF Institute (SQFI) and has been recognized and accepted worldwide.

More info about the SQF certification on the SQF Institute official website

You require from your suppliers SQF certifications, but also other documents such as the FSSC 22000 or the ISO 22000 ? Discover how ecratum can support you by automating your supplier management thanks to the different modules available on our platform.

Discover now our SRM platform

Tags: Certifications, tips