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Requirements for supplier approval and raw materials under SQF


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#1 SpursGirl

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:05 PM

Hi

My company is a very small company producing very small volumes of very complex products - we currently handle 44 SKU's and have around 300 individual raw materials. Our customer has a requirement that we hold SQF certification but I am finding some of the SQF requirements (a) difficult to interpret and (b) difficult to implement.
Currently I am looking at the raw materials and have a few questions which I hope one of you great guys can answer for me.

I am trying to set up an approved supplier programme - a lot of our materials are purchased through brokers but a number of materials are purchased off shelf from supermarkets due to the really small volumes we use. These are things like jars of sundried tomatoes, sweet chilli sauce, frozen cooked meatballs. The items are in the main supermarket own brand so how do I go about approving the supermarked in line with SQF requirements? With the brokers do I need to approve the broker or the actual manufacturer of the material? If it is the actual manufacturer I have a huge amount of work ahead of me.

This then leads me to raw mat specifications for these items - I have not had much success in getting hold of specifications of the retailer brand products purchased through the retailer even though we supply all of our products into this retailer and they are the driving force in requesting that we use their 'off the shelf' materials in our products! I have had limited success with the brokered materials - mostly the broker does not hold specifications and the actual manufacturers will not deal with me as I am not a direct customer - it is so frustrating! Has anyone got any ideas how to tackle this?

Finally is it a requirement of SQF that all raw material deliveries are accompanied by a COA/COC? I cannot see this directly stated in the standard however my experience with SQF is that sometimes the expectation is not always clearly indicated in the standard. If certificates are required for all raw material deliveries how can I manage this when we just go and buy things off the shelf?? Would I be expected to positive release items by sending samples away for testing? Again this would be impractical not to mention expensive for a very small business.

Also just to note the brokers I use also do not provide COA/COC with deliveries - should I be asking for certificates? Based on the difficulty in obtaining specifications I do not expect this to be easy.

I am trying to get a raw material risk assessment completed for each raw material but without specifications it is proving a hard task! Not quite sure how to tackle this either.

I would be most grateful for any advice you can give me!


Many thanks,



Sarah



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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:16 AM

Hi

My company is a very small company producing very small volumes of very complex products - we currently handle 44 SKU's and have around 300 individual raw materials. Our customer has a requirement that we hold SQF certification but I am finding some of the SQF requirements (a) difficult to interpret and (b) difficult to implement.
Currently I am looking at the raw materials and have a few questions which I hope one of you great guys can answer for me.

I am trying to set up an approved supplier programme - a lot of our materials are purchased through brokers but a number of materials are purchased off shelf from supermarkets due to the really small volumes we use. These are things like jars of sundried tomatoes, sweet chilli sauce, frozen cooked meatballs. The items are in the main supermarket own brand so how do I go about approving the supermarked in line with SQF requirements? With the brokers do I need to approve the broker or the actual manufacturer of the material? If it is the actual manufacturer I have a huge amount of work ahead of me.

This then leads me to raw mat specifications for these items - I have not had much success in getting hold of specifications of the retailer brand products purchased through the retailer even though we supply all of our products into this retailer and they are the driving force in requesting that we use their 'off the shelf' materials in our products! I have had limited success with the brokered materials - mostly the broker does not hold specifications and the actual manufacturers will not deal with me as I am not a direct customer - it is so frustrating! Has anyone got any ideas how to tackle this?

Finally is it a requirement of SQF that all raw material deliveries are accompanied by a COA/COC? I cannot see this directly stated in the standard however my experience with SQF is that sometimes the expectation is not always clearly indicated in the standard. If certificates are required for all raw material deliveries how can I manage this when we just go and buy things off the shelf?? Would I be expected to positive release items by sending samples away for testing? Again this would be impractical not to mention expensive for a very small business.

Also just to note the brokers I use also do not provide COA/COC with deliveries - should I be asking for certificates? Based on the difficulty in obtaining specifications I do not expect this to be easy.

I am trying to get a raw material risk assessment completed for each raw material but without specifications it is proving a hard task! Not quite sure how to tackle this either.

I would be most grateful for any advice you can give me!

Many thanks,

Sarah


Dear SpursGirl,

Not myself a user of SQF but several of yr queries hv appeared before so I can venture some info although no problem for actual users to shoot me down. :smile:

One comment - you do not example yr own type of product so this may limit relevance.

IMEX, yr query regarding "blind" purchase of supermarket items,etc is classic for all the FS standards. My conclusion for BRC was simple but, (surely?) inevitable, namely -

No means of "approving" the ingredient composition / food compaibility, etc = no purchase. Q.E.D. I'm afraid that from an auditorial viewpoint, the responsibility is totally on you.

Yr query regarding COC/COA etc is, from recent thread memory, textually evidenced in the latest SQF composite standard. I think COC was unavoidable for most, if not all, inputs. COA probably depended on the specific items, eg unlikely for raw potatoes perhaps. :smile:

No doubt SQF users will happily elaborate.

And yes, in many cases, getting the info. was similar to meeting one's own buyer's expectations. ;)

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Tony-C

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:58 AM

Hi

My company is a very small company producing very small volumes of very complex products - we currently handle 44 SKU's and have around 300 individual raw materials. Our customer has a requirement that we hold SQF certification but I am finding some of the SQF requirements (a) difficult to interpret and (b) difficult to implement.
Currently I am looking at the raw materials and have a few questions which I hope one of you great guys can answer for me.

I am trying to set up an approved supplier programme - a lot of our materials are purchased through brokers but a number of materials are purchased off shelf from supermarkets due to the really small volumes we use. These are things like jars of sundried tomatoes, sweet chilli sauce, frozen cooked meatballs. The items are in the main supermarket own brand so how do I go about approving the supermarked in line with SQF requirements? With the brokers do I need to approve the broker or the actual manufacturer of the material? If it is the actual manufacturer I have a huge amount of work ahead of me.

This then leads me to raw mat specifications for these items - I have not had much success in getting hold of specifications of the retailer brand products purchased through the retailer even though we supply all of our products into this retailer and they are the driving force in requesting that we use their 'off the shelf' materials in our products! I have had limited success with the brokered materials - mostly the broker does not hold specifications and the actual manufacturers will not deal with me as I am not a direct customer - it is so frustrating! Has anyone got any ideas how to tackle this?

Finally is it a requirement of SQF that all raw material deliveries are accompanied by a COA/COC? I cannot see this directly stated in the standard however my experience with SQF is that sometimes the expectation is not always clearly indicated in the standard. If certificates are required for all raw material deliveries how can I manage this when we just go and buy things off the shelf?? Would I be expected to positive release items by sending samples away for testing? Again this would be impractical not to mention expensive for a very small business.

Also just to note the brokers I use also do not provide COA/COC with deliveries - should I be asking for certificates? Based on the difficulty in obtaining specifications I do not expect this to be easy.

I am trying to get a raw material risk assessment completed for each raw material but without specifications it is proving a hard task! Not quite sure how to tackle this either.

I would be most grateful for any advice you can give me!

Many thanks,

Sarah


Hi Sarah,

SQF requires you to control materials that 'impact on finished product safety'.

For the brokers you can cover off by having a mutually agreed 'company raw material specification' which you purchase against and insist on being provided with a COA/COC.

If you don't have a specification for the supermarket purchases, again you could draw up your own specification and verify that the ingredient meets your specification. Also checking the label to ensure you have identified any potential hazards such as allergens.

Your risk assessment should be based on what you do with the ingredients, internal verification they meet your requirements and any ingredients that present a hazard.

Kind regards,

Tony

Edited by Tony-C, 24 July 2012 - 03:03 AM.





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