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SQF Supplier Approval Program - Are 3rd Party GFSI certs required?


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awallace

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 08:40 PM

I am having trouble finding a straightforward answer to this question in the forums - as an SQF Level 2 certified facility, are we required to get 3rd party GFSI level certificates from each of our raw material/ingredient suppliers?

 

If not, would the following documents meet the requirements of the code?

- Other non-GFSI level 3rd audits, such as GMP or HACCP 

AND/OR

- Supplier Questionnaire

- Supplier HACCP Plan

- Supplier Allergen Control Plan

 

Please let me know if there are other documents that might satisfy the requirements without the need for a 3rd party certificate and audit report. 

 

I just started working at this new company that has been certified for 5 years, and somehow it hasn't come up in the audits that we are missing those 3rd party audits for a number of our suppliers. At my previous company, we always required the 3rd party GFSI audits or a supplier was not approved. I want to make sure that our Supplier Approval Program is compliant, and that if I need to reject a supplier that I have a solid basis for it. 

I appreciate your help and input! 



The Food Scientist

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 08:55 PM

If they do not have any GFSI cert, you can go yourself and audit them against SQF :) 


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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mgourley

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:05 PM

What does the SQF Code say? The answer to your question can probably be found there.

With BRC the supplier can be certified to a GFSI approved auditing scheme, OR audited to a non-GFSI standard (you have to have a copy of the audit report to approve them). If neither apply, a supplier questionnaire can be used with specific questions regarding product safety, traceability, GMP's and HACCP review.

 

Marshall



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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:09 PM

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 same principles for approved suppliers extend to the sites internal or suppliers that are under the same corporate ownership, even if they are under the same food safety management system (i.e., egg producers that feed into an egg processing site or roasted nut operation feeding into a nut butter site).

 

-Taken from the SQF guidance document


Edited by The Food Scientist, 11 November 2020 - 09:10 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


awallace

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:55 PM

Thank you for your responses so far!

 

It is highly unlikely they are going to send me to these suppliers to audit. The volume of purchases is low, but does account for a number of our ingredients overall. 

 

In your experience, what else works to satisfy the SQF code requirements without 3rd party audits or by performing your own audits? I'm not sure how to use "good supply history" to prove compliance with the code. 



Spidey

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 10:17 PM

As part of my supplier approval process, I search for suppliers in the FDA Database: https://datadashboar...v/ora/index.htm

 

This database doesn't have everybody, but for the companies it does have, it lists: number of audits and audit non-compliances, if any; product recalls, if any; import refusals, if any; and warning letters, if any.  I use this, in combination with the length of time we've had them as a supplier and a description of any issues we've had with them to establish good supply history.



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CHRISTBEARER7

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 02:28 PM

This is a great question because the SQF code (please see below) is not very clear regarding this. 

 

2.3.4.2 The approved supplier program shall be based on the past performance of a supplier
and the risk level of the raw materials, ingredients, processing aids, packaging, and
services supplied, and shall contain at a minimum:
i. Agreed specifications (refer to 2.3.2);
ii. Reference to the level of risk applied to raw materials, ingredients, packaging, and services from
the approved supplier;
iii. A summary of the food safety controls implemented by the approved supplier;
iv. Methods for granting approved supplier status;
v. Methods and frequency of monitoring approved suppliers;
vi. Details of the certificates of conformance, if required; and
vii. Methods and frequency of reviewing approved supplier performance and status.
 
2.3.4.6 Supplier audits shall be based on risk (as determined in 2.3.4.2) and shall be
conducted by individuals knowledgeable of applicable regulatory and food safety
requirements and trained in auditing techniques.

 

The majority of our suppliers are GFSI certified but we have few vendors that are smaller that are not which I conduct a supplier audit based on GFSI.

 

At the very least I would say each supplier should have a GMP/Sanitation audit completed although this does not necessary meet GFSI standards it at least will reveal any major compliance issues.

 

I hope this helps!

 

Thanks!

 

Chris



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majoy

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 03:37 PM

As part of my supplier approval process, I search for suppliers in the FDA Database: https://datadashboar...v/ora/index.htm

 

This database doesn't have everybody, but for the companies it does have, it lists: number of audits and audit non-compliances, if any; product recalls, if any; import refusals, if any; and warning letters, if any.  I use this, in combination with the length of time we've had them as a supplier and a description of any issues we've had with them to establish good supply history.

This is a gem! Thank you for this!


"Whatever you do, do it well..." - Walt Disney





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