» SQF Introduces Ethical Sourcing Standard
An Ethical Sourcing standard for labor and environmental practices will be added to the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute’s supplier auditing programs. The SQF Institute, a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), already audits suppliers worldwide for compliance with rigorous food safety and quality standards.
“The Ethical Sourcing standard will help advance fair labor practices and environmental stewardship on a global scale using the reach of the SQF program,” says Jill Hollingsworth, FMI group vice president of food safety programs, Washington. “This standard will give the food industry and consumers an extra measure of assurance that these practices are conducted according to the best available guidance and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”
The environmental portion of the standard addresses energy use, air emissions, water consumption, waste management, pollution prevention, land use and biodiversity. The labor component includes equal opportunity in hiring and employment, wage compliance, worker benefits and occupational health and safety.
The SQF Institute is now pilot-testing use of the standard and training auditors how to check companies for compliance.
To review a copy of the new Ethical Sourcing standard, visit www.sqfi.com/sqf_documents.htm.
» Former Kellogg CEO To Keynote CSCMP Conference
The Honorable Carlos M. Gutierrez, former CEO and chairman of the board of Kellogg Co. and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be the opening general session speaker at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ (CSCMP) 2010 Annual Global Conference to be held September 26-29 in San Diego.
“We are thrilled to have Secretary Gutierrez keynote our conference,” says Rick Blasgen, CSCMP president and CEO. “With experience in both the public and the private sectors, he will bring a unique perspective to our event, having faced the challenges of applying real world experience to government policies that impact all aspects of global trade.
His presentation will highlight the synergies and conflicts between trade policy and business realities, and will give us a preview of the future of global trade.”
» Walmart, Sam’s Club Enhance Beef Security
Taking a proactive approach to protecting its customers against foodborne illnesses, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, AR, will implement additional beef safety measures. The new process controls standards and goals are additions to a food safety program that already requires ground beef suppliers to test for E.coli O 157:H7 and achieve prevention-based certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) internationally recognized standards.
“At Walmart and Sam’s Club, our commitment to providing our customers with safe, quality foods is unparalleled,” says Frank Yiannas, vice president for food safety. “As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we go further than many U.S. retailers in requiring leading-edge food safety standards throughout the entire food production chain. In light of recent beef recalls, we determined it was prudent to require an additional layer of protection for our customers.”
The program requires Walmart and Sam’s Club beef suppliers to implement controls that would significantly reduce potential contamination levels and validate that the measures they’ve implemented are effective through specialized testing. Suppliers who do not operate slaughter houses must be in compliance with the new standard by June 2011. For beef slaughterhouse suppliers, there is a two-step approach with the first step to be completed by June 2011 and the second by June 2012.
The protocol has been reviewed with numerous stakeholders including consumer groups, regulators, academicians, beef suppliers and industry associations. “Walmart has taken steps to provide its customers with the safest possible beef products,” says Dr. James Marsden of Kansas State University. “Consumers across the United States will benefit greatly from this timely food safety initiative.”
According to Jim Dickson, Iowa State University professor of animal science, “Walmart is taking a progressive approach to assuring the safety of the foods they sell. This is a win for the consumers, the beef industry in general and Walmart. The lessons learned from Walmart’s approach will be applicable to ground beef sold everywhere.”