The Supplier Approval program is an extremely important part of the SQF code (Section 4.3.5) since it dovetails in with your HACCP program, sampling plans, etc. Following is straight from the SQF Guidance document for Edition 7.2:
What does it mean?
The objective of this element is to ensure that all incoming materials and services meet specifications and are
safe. This element links with 2.3.2, which defines specifications for raw and packaging materials and 2.3.3, which
defines specifications for contract service providers.
An approved supplier program is a set of procedures implemented by the supplier to assure the safety and quality
of incoming goods and services. It may be based on the safety risk presented by the raw material, or based on
historical performance or prior history of the supplier.
What do I have to do?
The supplier must be able to provide documented evidence that incoming materials have either been inspected or
that they come from an approved supplier. The methods for selecting, evaluating, approving and monitoring an
approved supplier must be documented. This will be risk-based and may be as simple as a good supply history,
sourcing from certified suppliers (e.g. SQF certified suppliers) or personally auditing/inspecting the material
supplier’s operations, depending on risk, supplier knowledge and past history.
The supplier must require their material suppliers to verify they are complying with specifications for the products
supplied. The methods of analyses must conform to recognized industry standards (refer 2.5.6). The job
functions responsible within the supplier business for material inspections and supplier approval must be included
in the job descriptions outlined in 126.96.36.199.
The approved supplier program must include providers of contract services such as transport, pest control,
maintenance, labor hire, etc. The program will identify methods to ensure service providers and their staff adhere
to the specifications outlined in 2.3.3.
The supplier must maintain a list of approved suppliers, including contract service providers. All providers of
goods and services must be included on the register.
The approved supplier program shall be reviewed at least annually (refer 188.8.131.52) or more frequently, based on
The receipt of raw materials from non-approved suppliers is acceptable, but only in an emergency situation, and
provided the materials are inspected before use. Records of the use of non-approved suppliers and their
inspections shall be maintained.