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jperri

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 02:44 PM

Hello everyone,

 

We are a small vegetable processing company working towards SQF Certification. To give a recap: we receive raw vegetables from our suppliers and for this I have developed the supplier approval program (register, specifications, questionnaire and food safety certificates), for packaging I have the register, specifications and certificate of conformance.

 

Now for contract services, I have a register, a brief description of service, frequency of their visit and any certificates/licenses they may require. I also wrote a contract that they will sign stating what is expected from them in regards to service and GMP's.

 

I am wondering if this is enough information? In particular, I am wondering what people require from their transportation companies? I got a bit confused on this section because the Supplier Approval Program includes services as well. So there is some overlap between the two sections.

 

Thank you all for your help. I have posted a few questions on this forum before and I am grateful for all the respondents! Since I am the only Food Safety rep at the company, it is nice to have a second opinion from time to time.

 

Jenna

 



majoy

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 05:17 PM

You have done good.

 

We consider transport companies as service providers, therefore, information about the company and a signed contract with our expectations, such as temperature of reefer maintained for frozen/refrigerated transport of foods, cleanliness of the van/vehicle, food defense/food fraud policies, driver GMP/ health/ food borne illness.


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jperri

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 05:26 PM

Thank you Majoy! I can create another contract specific for transportation companies.



QAGB

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:11 PM

Thank you Majoy! I can create another contract specific for transportation companies.

 

Agreed with Majoy. I did run into issues with some transportation lines not wanting to sign the documents. Most were willing and understood the expectations. I had one send the document to their legal department...it was basically a GMP document, with transportation 101 rules. We didn't even add in reefer information because we didn't need it. 

 

Also, you could potentially have issues with companies like FedEx (I don't know your Canadian transport companies - forgive me) if you use them for shipping any food products. We did, due to having an online shopping site. They wouldn't sign any documents (which I understand), but makes this more difficult when you have to consider all of your transport services. 



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jperri

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:23 PM

Thank you QAGB!

 

I am hoping to get responses! I have a couple contract services that have yet to sign the contract. I do not know if they ever will.



AC2018

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:19 PM

I too have struggled with transportation companies. Some specialize in food or have a lot of dealings with food companies so they are more on top of their game when it comes to supplying food safety/quality related documents. I typically require a certificate of insurance for every contract service provider then additional documents based off of the service they are providing.

 

Some transportation companies will send their policy on food products and allergens, some have sent me a FSMA compliance letter. For staffing agencies I obtain the staffing agreement. Anyone coming in to service the facility or equipment I make sure to have their certifications and they have to sign our visitor agreement which includes following GMP's and such. I also keep contact information for each, the service the provide, if they will be entering the facility regularly, then the documents they provide. I have this all in a spreadsheet in excel which I then list the dates of expiry for the documents and link them to the appropriate location within the folder. 

 

Our facility if SQF 8.0 certified for reference. 



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jperri

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:33 PM

I too have struggled with transportation companies. Some specialize in food or have a lot of dealings with food companies so they are more on top of their game when it comes to supplying food safety/quality related documents. I typically require a certificate of insurance for every contract service provider then additional documents based off of the service they are providing.

 

Some transportation companies will send their policy on food products and allergens, some have sent me a FSMA compliance letter. For staffing agencies I obtain the staffing agreement. Anyone coming in to service the facility or equipment I make sure to have their certifications and they have to sign our visitor agreement which includes following GMP's and such. I also keep contact information for each, the service the provide, if they will be entering the facility regularly, then the documents they provide. I have this all in a spreadsheet in excel which I then list the dates of expiry for the documents and link them to the appropriate location within the folder. 

 

Our facility if SQF 8.0 certified for reference. 

 

Thank you so much for the response, it helps a lot in knowing what documentation to try to obtain. I guess I will contact the companies and see what documentation they are willing to provide and/or they can sign our transport contract agreement that I will create.

 

We hope to be certified by the end of the year.... 



AC2018

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:47 PM

Sounds like you are on the right track and will do great! 



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jperri

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:31 PM

Sounds like you are on the right track and will do great! 

 

 

Thank you! I am trying to have everything in order before this audit.

 

What is the protocol when a supplier or company refuses to provide you with documentation? I know the obvious thing may be to no longer use them but what if that was not an option...

 

For example, we purchase our pallet wrap and tape from a Company we know very well and it is convenient due to location. However; this Company purchases these items from another supplier. We asked the Company if they could forward the NAME of their supplier and documentation (ex. specs/certificate of conformance) and they refused! Makes me think their supplier isn't a credible source? I would like to discontinue but I think due to convenience my Managers would like to continue ...I just think we may get a non-conformance since we have no idea where these items are coming from.


Edited by jperri, 18 September 2019 - 02:32 PM.


QAGB

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:32 PM

Thank you! I am trying to have everything in order before this audit.

 

What is the protocol when a supplier or company refuses to provide you with documentation? I know the obvious thing may be to no longer use them but what if that was not an option...

 

For example, we purchase our pallet wrap and tape from a Company we know very well and it is convenient due to location. However; this Company purchases these items from another supplier. We asked the Company if they could forward the NAME of their supplier and documentation (ex. specs/certificate of conformance) and they refused! Makes me think their supplier isn't a credible source? I would like to discontinue but I think due to convenience my Managers would like to continue ...I just think we may get a non-conformance since we have no idea where these items are coming from.

 

 

I don't necessarily think this is a statement of credibility. You seem to be buying from a distributor that buys from a manufacturer. The distributor doesn't want you to go around them and start buying direct from the manufacturer, so they aren't wanting to give you the name of the manufacturer.

 

I'm not sure how this works under SQF. What are the exact requirements for buying from a distributor under SQF? If they are SQF certified, maybe you can request these documents under your distributor's letterhead. 



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AC2018

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:40 PM

I would maybe try asking for them to white out/cover up the supplier name and contact information that is on the specification sheet then send you it. You could also ask them to send you the information that you need under the distributes letterhead like QAGB said. I have done this many times for our customers.

 

If they still don't want to provide that, then I would ask for a letter of guarantee from the distributor that basically states that they are responsible and that their suppliers follow what ever laws/regulations they need to.  

 

Since it's just pallet wrap I don't see where this would be a non-conformance. If it was food or food packaging I would be more concerned. 



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jperri

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 05:32 PM

Yes I agree! Since it is not food contact I am hoping it will not be a "big deal" but our consultant mentioned that the more documentation we have for all packaging the better, even if it is just pallet wrap.

 

We took another look at these items and noticed the tape had the manufacturing information on it so I was able to get a spec sheet for that. The pallet wrap is still unknown for the time being. We are going to try to contact this Company again. Apparently they are known to be difficult.



QAGB

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 06:52 PM

Yes I agree! Since it is not food contact I am hoping it will not be a "big deal" but our consultant mentioned that the more documentation we have for all packaging the better, even if it is just pallet wrap.

 

We took another look at these items and noticed the tape had the manufacturing information on it so I was able to get a spec sheet for that. The pallet wrap is still unknown for the time being. We are going to try to contact this Company again. Apparently they are known to be difficult.

 

 

Don't stress too much over this. It isn't food contact, so I don't think your SQF auditor is going to be too upset about you not having the docs. If they do bring anything up, it might be at most a minor. I really doubt it though. Especially if you explain to them that you haven't been able to get your distributor to comply. If it ever gets to that point, it it is certainly time to find a pallet wrap company that is willing to get you the docs.

 

As mentioned, you can try to get the distributor to put the information on their own letterhead so you have at least something you can show in your audit.



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jperri

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 06:58 PM

Thank you for the advice!

 

Yes I agree, since it is not food contact I feel it should be okay. We have the majority of our packaging documents too. It is nice to hear some new ideas I can keep in mind such as having them use their letterhead, in case other suppliers do not comply in the future.



BostonCream

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:03 PM

Pallet wrap shall not be a concern. IMO i think you can ask the packaging distributor for a letter of guarantee or letter of no objection under their letterhead, just to prove that they have their own supplier control program and do not buy from unaccredited source.



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