Commitment is defined as "a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in, or a promise or decision to do something". This month, we are dedicating our newsletter to the theme of commitment, and how committing to food safety and quality is what ultimately helps you deliver the best possible product and keep the consumer safe.
1.) Changes in the Food Safety Industry: Face Them or Ignore them? - via Food Safety Tech “A new era of smarter food safety is coming,” said Frank Yiannas, FDA’s deputy commissioner of food policy and response, at the GFSI Conference 2019 in Nice, France. He went on to explain, “a smarter food safety is people-led, FSMA-based and technology-enabled.” Afterwards, Yiannas announced the need for a greater budget for the FDA to invest in modern food safety for 2020 and beyond." - Read the rest of the story on Food Safety Tech
2.) Where Does the Food Industry Stand on Romaine Lettuce? - via SmartBrief
" Romaine lettuce has proven to be a divisive product within the food industry in recent years. Following two major recalls in 2018 due to E. coli contamination, retailers and restaurants were left scrambling to get romaine off their shelves and tables while also finding replacement solutions. Growers were left in an even hairier predicament as consumers began to question the safety of not only romaine, but also other leafy greens. " Read the rest of the story on SmartBrief
3.) Watch for these 7 Sustainable Food Trends in 2019 - via Environmental Leader
" The sustainable food industry has evolved rapidly in recent years. Growth in the global organic products market, for example, continued in 2018, with consumer demand for organic foods strengthening and sales of organic foods reaching more than 5% of retail food sales in the US. This year is expected to be no different for sustainable foods. In fact, according to Ecovia Intelligence, 2019 will be an important year for the industry. " Read the rest of the story on Environmental Leader
4.) USDA, EPA, and FDA Unveil Strategy to Reduce Food Waste - via QA Magazine
"As part of the Trump Administration’s  Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month , the USDA, EPA, and FDA released a federal inter-agency strategy to address food waste. The agencies held an event at EPA headquarters to hear from state, local and community leaders and other stakeholders on how all levels of government can work together to reduce food waste." - Read the rest of the story on QA Magazine
5.) Food Safety = Culture Science + Social Science + Food Science - via Food Safety Magazine
"Food safety culture works at the intersection of food science, organizational culture, and social cognitive science.[ 1 ] We need to understand the interactions between traditional food sciences, including food safety, and the socio-cultural sciences to determine what  food safety culture  is and how it can be measured and improved. Although everybody is talking about it, food safety culture is a relatively new concept for the food industry, and it is useful to look back at food safety assurance developments in recent history to understand our route into food safety culture and why it is so important today." Read the rest of the story on Food Safety Magazine
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Quality Auditing SQF Systems - Mississauga, Ontario (1 day)
April 26, 2019 - @ 8:30am - 5:00pm US-Eastern
Cost: $295

Quality Auditing SQF Systems - Chicago, IL
(1 Day)
June 21, 2019 - @ 8:30am - 5:00pm
Cost: $375
SQF Professional Update - July 17
July 17, 2019 - @ 12:00pm - 4:00pm US-Eastern
Cost: $150

2019 SQF Conference in
San Antonio, TX
JW Marriott Hill Country Resort
November 5 - 7, 2019
Cost: Varies
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Technical, Training, and Compliance Update
  • SQFI Technical is working on finalizing the edits for Edition 8.1. This edition is expected to be posted in July with a September implementation date. Changes are expected to be minimal with little disruption to the SQF certified site.
  • SQFI participated in the Stakeholder Advisory Forum (SAF), a working group dedicated to reviewing the GFSI benchmarking requirements, to finalize the technical benchmarking requirements for version 8. The draft document is expected to be published by the end of April for public comment.
  • In partnership with the National Restaurant Association, SQFI is finalizing the SQF Food Safety Code for Foodservice with an expected release in May. This Code will assess both the corporate and restaurant food safety systems and will provide a solution for restaurant certification.
  • SQFI has held 5 auditor training courses across the globe since the beginning of the year. The SQF auditor training courses now include an option for a one day auditor training to the Quality Code. There are many more planned for 2019 with all of them posted on  
Marketing, Communications, and Sales Update
  • We are excited to welcome Gigi Vita, Vice President of Sales to the SQFI Family! Gigi will head up the Global Sales Team for SQFI.
  • We have been brainstorming new items to add to the SQFI store that will be useful for SQF Professionals and those working in SQF Certified sites.
  • SQFI Marketing team just launched the translated versions of the new SQFI website! Our website can now be accessed in Spanish, French-Canadian, Japanese, and Chinese.
  • Our team has been working closely with members of the National Restaurant Association to prepare for the the launch of the new SQF Food Safety Code for Food Service
Business Operations, Database, and Customer Service Update
  • We are currently working on improving the multi-site program in the database by concentrating on: refining the registration process, streamlining the audit process, and updating the certified sites logic.
  • The customer service team has been busy fulfilling requests for database registration assistance, training overviews, invoicing and accounting issues, Certification Body assistance, and also providing general information about the SQF Program.
Get to Know Gigi Vita, Vice President of Sales at SQFI!
We are pleased to welcome Gigi Vita to the SQFI Family! Gigi will head up our global Sales team as the Vice President of Sales for SQFI.
Vita is a seasoned veteran of the food industry, and has previously worked across all trade channels and led successful initiatives within domestic and global organizations.

As Bob Garfield noted in the Progressive Grocer, "Vita is an accomplished, versatile sales and business expert whose passion for operational and customer opportunities will bring new levels of awareness to the SQFI brand and strengthen our voice so it resounds around the globe".
3 Interesting Facts about Gigi:
  1. I'm originally from the Philadelphia area.
  2. I have two children; a daughter who is a sophomore in college and a son who is a high school junior.
  3. My hobbies include: golf, cheering on Philadelphia sports teams, and attending all types of live music events
Please join us in welcoming her to the SQFI and FMI family!
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Successful Launch of SQFI's Tokyo Sustainability Addendum (TSA) in Shinagawa, Japan!
At the beginning of April, Bill McBride and Sarah Wu launched SQFI's Tokyo Sustainability Addendum (TSA) to a group of 50 industry leaders from Japan's retail, manufacturing and supply chain industries in Shinagawa, Japan. The purpose of the reception was to introduce developments in the SQF program, explain the Tokyo Sustainability Addendum (TSA), and to introduce SQF’s point of contact in Japan, Mr Masayoshi (Mark) Shinohara. 
Attendees were welcomed by Robert Garfield and LeAnn Chuboff via video, followed by a presentation on SQF developments, four stakeholder case studies, and ended with a presentation on the TSA. The following day, sixteen auditors from three SQF Licensed certification bodies attended TSA auditor training in Yokohama, Japan.  

The TSA is applicable to primary producers (specifically, the production of livestock, fruit and vegetables, and rice) who are already certified to the SQF Food Safety Code for Primary Production, or are undergoing certification. The SQF Food Safety Code for Primary Production combined with the Tokyo Sustainability Addendum, has been recognized as a procurement standard for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all who attended and worked to make this event a success!
(ABOVE): In addition to the events with the TSA, Bill McBride conducted a lead auditor training in Shanghai, China with auditors from NSF, Merieux, SAI Global, and SGS. Helping to translate the event was SQFI's Sarah Wu, who also attended the GFSI Local Group in Shanghai.
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The SQFI Quality Achievement Awards recognize the commitment, support, and performance of outstanding individuals who uphold the integrity and performance of the SQF Program. Help us recognize the achievements of these exemplary individuals and nominate someone you know (or yourself!) for one of these prestigious awards:


Finalists and award winners will receive the following:
  • Finalists will be recognized at the 2019 SQF Conference and the winners will receive a crystal award.
  • Award winners receive complimentary registration to the 2020 SQF Conference
  • All finalists receive a discounted registration to the 2019 SQF Conference.

Submission Deadlines:
Submit Nomination Forms:   by May 01, 2019
Submit supporting Documents:   by June 24, 2019

* Nomination forms and supporting documents must be submitted by email to by the stated deadlines in order to be considered

FMI Foundation Scholarship
 The critical issue for accredited third-party auditing in North America is to source the next generation of well-trained auditors. As a way to help fill that gap, the FMI Foundation is sponsoring scholarships to students currently enrolled in food and agricultural science majors who have a true interest in the field of accredited food safety auditing.
Visit the FMI Foundation Scholarship website to access the application and additional details. Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 / 2020 Academic Year!
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SQFI Out and About!

May 6 - May 9 - Food Safety Summit, Rosemont, IL

June 22 - June 26 - AFDO
Atlanta, GA