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FMI’s Safe Quality Food Program Becomes First Certification Program for Farm Assurance Accepted by the Global Food Safety Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC — March 14, 2005 — FMI is pleased to announce that its food safety audit and certification program for agricultural producers, Safe Quality Food (SQF) 1000, has been accepted by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an international group of over 40 retail companies.

SQF 1000 is the only certification program to ensure that farms meet global food safety and quality standards. FMI’s standard and certification program for manufacturers, SQF 2000, was recognized by the GFSI in January 2004. “We are very pleased to receive acceptance by the Global Food Safety Initiative,” stated SQF Institute Executive Director Paul Ryan. “SQF 1000 is now the global standard for auditing primary producers, including fresh produce, meat, poultry and fish. Retailer acceptance of both SQF 1000 for primary producers and SQF 2000 for manufacturers allows us to offer the only complete farm-to-retail food safety audit and certification program.” The primary purpose of the GFSI is to identify food safety systems — standards, audits and certifications — that meet the criteria in the Fourth Edition of the GFSI Guidance Document, which benchmarks and recognizes only those food safety programs that meet this rigorous set of criteria.

“SQF can provide tremendous benefits to retailers who no longer have to sift through various audits and checklists,” said Jill Hollingsworth, FMI vice president of food safety programs. “SQF certification is given only to those suppliers who demonstrate compliance with the food safety controls and quality management systems included in the SQF codes. Suppliers will also reap the benefits of a single audit and certification program that is accepted by retailers around the globe.”

FMI will continue to add value to the SQF program by making information easier to access, improve data collection technology, reduce audit costs and improve retailer-supplier relationships. For more information about the Safe Quality Food Institute and its programs, please visit the SQFI Web site at http://sqfi.com.

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Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs on behalf of its 1,500 member companies - food retailers and wholesalers - in the United States and around the world. FMI's U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores with a combined annual sales volume of $340 billion - three-quarters of all food retail store sales in the United States. FMI's retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from 50 countries.


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