The SQF Institute (SQFI) intends to gather industry input at the upcoming SQF Unites—taking place March 11–14, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana—to inform the creation of a new SQF edition, and has shared its process and proposed timeline for developing SQF Edition 10.

The need for a new edition of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) standard is typically driven by various factors that may include changes in the industry landscape, advancements in food safety science, regulatory updates, data analysis, and feedback from stakeholders. Some common factors that could constitute a need for a new SQF edition include:

  • Consistent concerns expressed by SQF-certified organizations, auditors, retailers, and other stakeholders
  • The identification of new food safety risks or the emergence of other industry issues
  • Changes in sourcing practices, transportation methods, or distribution networks throughout the global supply chain that may impact food safety
  • Unforeseen events, such as foodborne illness outbreaks or other crises
  • Changes in local, national, or international food safety regulations
  • New technology, including new methods of food processing, packaging, and traceability, and advancing food safety best practices
  • Harmonization with other internationally recognized food safety programs, such as the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

SQFI typically engages in a systematic process including stakeholder consultations and public reviews to gather input before finalizing and releasing a new edition of the standard. A proposed timeline for SQF Edition 10 is as follows:

  • 2024 Q1: Defining scope and goals, engaging stakeholder feedback, defining timeline and resources, and SQF Unites engagement
  • 2024 Q2–Q4: Establishing technical working groups, creating the Codes, developing the implementation tools, and incorporating GFSI Benchmarking
  • 2025 Q1–Q2: Release Edition 10 and establish communication plan
  • 2025 Q3: Implementation period over a minimum of six months
  • 2025 Q3–Q4: GFSI Benchmarking.

Specific details of the process may vary. Updates will be made on the SQFI website.