To quote Henry David Thoreau, “it is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about.”
The Safe Food Quality Institute (SQFI) started 2020 out with the lofty goal of updating Edition 8.1 to Edition 9. This in itself was a great undertaking given that committees had to be formed, consultation with certification bodies had to do, and then re-writing the codes after committee and certification bodies had their say again.
That was in January 2020 and then Covid-19 hit in March 2020. Like all of us, we thought this would be quickly over with, but we now have painfully learned that we cannot destroy this virus – only contain it.
SQFI was quick on the mark to adjust to this new reality. 2100 SQFI customers to date were not able to meet their certification date so they requested a 6-month extension, which was approved by SQFI through risk assessments conducted by certification bodies. Unannounced audit requirements have been waived for several sites and remote activities are being used for sites that are under surveillance. For certification bodies, these extensions meant rearranging auditor schedules and wreaked havoc on scheduled planning.
I have to say kudos to SQFI for being as nimble as possible to make everything work. Throughout this, requests from both suppliers and certification bodies, SQFI kept the most important point in the back of their minds – the integrity of the SQF certificate must remain the most prominent factor in any decision taken.
dicentra Global Certifications is proud to belong to such a global institute. As of October 2020, there are over 8924 SQF clients, spanning from Canada, all the way to Puerto Rico and then to Australia, and everywhere in between. SQF continues to grow through the success of its certification bodies.
Edition 9 is now completed and will be implemented on May 24, 2021. Edition 9 is designed to help certified sites practitioners meet and exceed all industry, customer, and regulatory requirements so they can remain competitive across sectors.
I will end this with another “busy” quote from Bob Talbert, Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to take time to tell you how busy they are?”