Shavuot International Holdings has been named among 30 local exporters to receive the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code for manufacturing certification, signifying a high level of practised food security as required by the international market. The certification becomes effective July 2021.
The certification process was carried out by TSL Certification Services International Ltd (TSL CSI), which is the sole regional entity granted a licence by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) to carry out SQF certification.
It is a significant achievement for a seven-year-old company to be among the top prestigious SQF-certified companies locally.
Shavuot International has seen an unprecedented meteoric rise locally, through distributor Derrimon Trading, as well as internationally with the processing of high-quality spices, herbal teas, and gluten-free flour from locally grown ingredients bought from farmers in each of the 14 parishes. Currently, 90 per cent of the products are exported to 15 countries across the globe, with demand having grown by 200 per cent over the past year.
“Attaining the SQF certification is a form of validation of our ability to consistently produce safe and high-quality products throughout the food chain, thereby increasing customer trust, confidence, loyalty, and brand protection. This certification is recognised by retailers, food service providers, and regulatory agencies around the world that require HACCP [hazard analysis critical control points] food safety and quality management systems by their suppliers. Also, having the SQF certification is just one way we can assure the world there is nothing that is a higher priority to us than the safety of the food we produce and sell,” said Joel Harris, marketing director of Shavuot International Holdings Company Limited.
He also noted that the SQF certification will open up additional markets in the USA, Europe, and Canada for Shavuot as SQF is the leading global food safety and product quality certification system. In fact, Shavuot recently began supplying a major retail chain in Canada.
“By working with SQF-certified suppliers food distributors across the globe can be assured that the products they buy have passed rigorous global standards for food safety and quality. SQF certification makes it easier for distributors to find suppliers that are committed to food safety from the farms to the retail stores,” Harris continued.
In commenting on the certification process, Sherone McNeil, quality assurance manager at Shavuot said: “It was not an easy process. We decided early on that, to be competitive in the marketplace, especially in the retail and the value-added product sectors, we needed to be Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) compliant. Therefore, we chose SQF, which is based on a set of standards for food safety set by the GFSI. The undertaking involved everything that had to do with the control of the facility and the processes.”
Source: Jamaica Observer
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