SQFI recently collaborated with McDonald’s Corporation and NSF International to develop an audit addendum for McDonald’s produce suppliers that are SQF-certified for plant production. The addendum is added to the SQF certification audit, rather than necessitating two separate audits.

The combined audit saves time and money for the produce supplier, eliminating the second audit visit and reducing audit travel-related expenses in the process.

SQF and the Mr. Lucky brand, a McDonald’s produce supplier located in Mexico, worked together to pilot the audit addendum in combination with the SQF certification audit. Many of the requirements of the McDonald’s produce supplier audit were already covered by the SQF requirements, so the audit time was not significantly increased with the use of the addendum. Where McDonald’s requirements were not covered by the SQF certification audit—those specifically related to McDonald’s product or process specifications—the auditor evaluated conformance and completed a separate report designed for the McDonald’s supplier approval team to review along with the SQF certification audit report.

McDonald’s has approved the use of the primary produce addendum coupled with SQF certification for all produce suppliers globally. This approval complements the existing McDonald’s addendum for food manufacturing for SQF certified sites. Suppliers will inform their certification body, such as NSF, that they require the McDonald’s addendum when they apply for the SQF certification audit.

This audit addendum collaboration between industry stakeholders and SQF drives additional value for supplier sites and retailers with time and cost savings for all parties. Suppliers have reduced audit-related expenses and retailers have fewer audits to manage and follow-up. The certification body also benefits, since they can focus their SQF auditor time on conducting audits, rather than additional travel time related to separate customer audits.  

SQF encourages retailer collaboration to increase efficiencies in the food safety oversight system so that food suppliers can focus their expertise and resources on keeping food safe, rather than managing repetitive audits. Retailers can contact SQF to learn how SQF certification can help streamline supplier management.

Aligned with regulators and recognized by retailers, SQF Edition 9 Codes cover 12 industry scopes and 27 food sector categories. SQF collaborates with many retailers to ensure their needs are reflected in the SQF Codes so that suppliers understand expectations for meeting retailer food safety requirements. SQF collaborates across many sectors to develop the globally accepted SQF Food Safety Codes, including packaging, manufacturing, food processing, storage and distribution, primary production; and codes designed for dietary supplements, animal feed, and pet food. In some cases, retailers can eliminate or significantly reduce their own audit requirements by accepting SQF certification for supplier approval.