The Importance of Third Party Certifications
Food manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to tout their products and services.
Most participate in trade shows and maintain compelling websites. They make sure their logos and contact information are on all the packaging, correspondence, business cards, and emails. Some are active on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and possibly YouTube. A few may even advertise on Google and in trade publications, and a couple may have public relations companies to handle media relations and garner good publicity in the press.
But, there is another very effective way that doesn’t involve tooting one’s own horn or buying advertising: They seek out third party certifications.
Food manufacturers should have a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification to verify that they track the process and have a recall program in place. SQF and ASI provide food safety audits. If you are a foodservice operator, you have to go through local health department audits among others. In addition, many manufacturers focus on ingredient attributes like organic and non GMO. There are third-party endorsers like QAI – Quality Assurance International, the California Certified Organic Farmers, CCOF, and non GMO Project Verified.
Recently, Sugar Foods gained sustainability certifications for its innovative ecoStick® zero-calorie sweeteners due to their reduced carbon footprint. In a study of four ecoStick flavors, SCS Global Services has deemed ecoStick an “Environmentally Preferable Product.”
A trusted leader in third-party environmental, sustainability, and food quality certification, SCS Global determined “The ecoStick zero-calorie sweeteners contain 50% less filler ingredients and 34% less packaging material per packet compared to baseline zero-calorie sweeteners.”
In this case, ecoStick is a product that reduces waste and projects a limited carbon footprint. To make such a unilateral statement could be questioned. But having a third party grant an authorized certification that confirms their accomplishment, provides inestimable value to both Sugar Foods and its customers.
In a world where food processing may be suspect (think of the many recalls of late from even the largest companies – Costco and ConAgra – or the food quality issues in foodservice – most notably at Chipotle), it is even more critical to have a third party certification.
As a foodservice operator, it is imperative that the ingredients and other food products you use are safe and secure. Be sure to check out the brand to see if it has verifiable certifications for any claims it makes.
You will feel better about using those brands and feel safe that what you are providing your customers is of the highest quality.