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Switching GFSI Approved Certifications

fssc certification sqf small business

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abasloe

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 02:01 PM

Hello! New to IFSQN in general, but in reading other threads, I noticed people mentioned wanting to switch to FSSC certification from SQF. We are a small food manufacturer and are level 2 certified for SQF. We find SQF extremely demanding and overwhelming for a small plant like ours, but we have been certified by them for at least 5 years so our customers have come to know that. Does anyone have experience switching from SQF to FSSC certification? Does it cause concern for customers that you are switching programs? Thank you all!

 



Scampi

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 02:08 PM

FYI  FSSC in my opinion is more work for you, not less

 

Stick with what you know


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chrkut

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 02:32 PM

I have helped a plant move from SQF to FSSC. 

 

The standards are fairly similar, but you will have to do a complete overhaul of all of your programs, HACCP, Flow diagrams, document control, etc to switch.

 

To be honest, I did not see much of a difference between FSSC standards and SQF standards to warrant a change. We made the change because of a plant acquisition and moving the new plant to our corp standard, which was FSSC. 

 

It seems like a lot of effort for almost no gain. What type of things do you think you can drop or be less of a burden if you move to FSSC? What are your expectations?

 

Keep in mind you will have to retrain all of your folks on the new system, especially if you will have CCPs moving to OPRPs. 



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SQFconsultant

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 03:22 PM

Hello!

 

New to IFSQN in general, but in reading other threads, I noticed people mentioned wanting to switch to FSSC certification from SQF.

 

We are a small food manufacturer and are level 2 certified for SQF. We find SQF extremely demanding and overwhelming for a small plant like ours, but we have been certified by them for at least 5 years so our customers have come to know that. Does anyone have experience switching from SQF to FSSC certification? Does it cause concern for customers that you are switching programs?

 

Thank you all!

 

Interestingly enough, in 14 years of consulting on SQF I have not had a client that wanted to drop SQF and go to FSSC.  

 

We had a client where a customer asked them to add FSSC, however after discussion they dropped the request.

 

I'd be taking a close look at your SQF program (the term level 2 no longer applies by the way) to determine why you are finding it so demanding and overwhelming as we find the SQF system to be the "easy one" in relation to the others.


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abasloe

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 06:09 PM

Correct on level 2, we still slip and say it internally here :)

 

I think it's a good point about re-evaluating our program. It was managed by one practitioner for most of the time until he retired. Now we are in a position to re-evaluate how it is working for us as a small manufacturer with very little to no automation (extremely manual processes). 

 

I'm now the 'new' backup practitioner and I've noticed that our program was setup to include all module 2 elements, not just the mandatory ones. I realize that if a non-mandatory element applies to the system it should be included, but I think there's quite a few that were included because it was missed that they were not required and were more so added to try to satisfy SQF.

 

If those elements have been included in past audits, do they have to continue to be included or is that a revision we could make to help us manage the program. for both the practitioners and the employees?

 

Appreciate the insight.

 

Thanks,

Alana

 

 

Interestingly enough, in 14 years of consulting on SQF I have not had a client that wanted to drop SQF and go to FSSC.  

 

We had a client where a customer asked them to add FSSC, however after discussion they dropped the request.

 

I'd be taking a close look at your SQF program (the term level 2 no longer applies by the way) to determine why you are finding it so demanding and overwhelming as we find the SQF system to be the "easy one" in relation to the others.



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Posted 28 January 2021 - 06:10 PM

Customers are going to ask what warranted the switch to another standard, not necessarily because it's a bad thing but because it is unusual.

Most of the companies I've noted with FSSC 22000 certifications tend to be big, massive operations. It's rare to see these at smaller companies.

As stated above by other members, FSSC 22000 is more demanding than SQF.


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Scampi

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 06:30 PM

Alana, you just write them out of the program as part of the annual reassessment. This ONLY applies to the non mandatory items

 

It has ALWAYS been my experience that when joining a company where the program was specifically written to satisfy the GFSI and not the actual facility, they become cumbersome, enormous and, most importantly, really easy to not achieve the score you desire.............basically painted into a corner

 

At one post, I cut the program by 1/2 and achieved a better score

 

Par it down so you can meet the requirements AND manage the program..........get creative in your thinking, there is always more than one way to get to the same end

 

Caution:  just because you're small doesn't mean the process is simple, so just make sure you can justify the changes, and changes, to the auditor in a way that is clear and based on sound judgement. 

 

For me, it's helpful to have the code on 1 screen, my policy/program in hard copy, a red pen and the records on another screen---then you can follow the process on paper and see what shakes out........a lot of module 11 can be combined into records and programs, just as long as its crystal clear

 

Golden Rule to any program Do what you say and say what you'll do


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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 01:13 PM

Unfortunately our initial SQF FSMS was written before there was a Manufacture of Food Packaging also, due to lack of understanding of the previous practitioner,  food manufacturing elements were incorporated into the plan unnecessarily. Over the last several years I have eliminated that information and streamlined the system as well as simplified the documentation and procedures and continue to do so. Had we started from what our current processes were and developed the program from there it would not have been so bloated and non-essential elements omitted by default. With a smaller operation, there should be less redundancy and less to take care of. Also look at your record keeping and consolidate as much as possible. I have moved most of our records to "yes" / "no" or "Pass" / "Fail" check boxes, with the information already written out, so the employees and Supervisors just have to do a quick visual verification and initial the proper lines. Quick, easy and completely effective in the eyes of our auditors. Employ the KISS principal and remember for the most part you get to determine effectiveness to meet the standards.







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