Guidance for Developing, Documenting and Implementing an
SQF 2000 System – General Food Packaging Materials- Manufacture and Distribution
©Copyright FMI 2008
SQF Food Packaging Guidance - Final
Foreword and Acknowledgements
The preparation of this guide provides guidance for Suppliers when implementing
their SQF 2000 System. It compliments the SQF Systems training course that has
been developed to ensure those implementing, auditing and maintaining an SQF
System have a full understanding of the SQF Program.
The SQF 2000 Code is unique in that it has three levels of certification. It is
recognized that some Suppliers have made considerable investment in developing
extensive product safety and quality management systems and have the capacity to
achieve full SQF 2000 Certification at Level 3. It is also recognized that others have
in place minimum packaging safety and quality controls with little management
system oversight and practically no available records to substantiate actions taken.
Packaging is a wide and diverse industry that uses many material types such as
plastics, metals, glass, paper, wood and many more. Each of these material types
is further subdivided, common plastics used in the packaging industry, for instance
are Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polystyrene, Polyester, Polyamide (Nylon),
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and others such as wet liquid adhesives. These can again be
subdivided: Polyethylene is used as Low Density, Linear Low Density and High
Density and all can be mixed as required to give a special characteristic for the
customers use, be it film for packaging bread, or for packing a farmers silo bails or
indeed to be thermoformed into a food container.
Packaging manufacturing may also be interrelated between different types of
materials and processes. For example a paper manufacture will sell on rolls of paper
to make corrugated board or a manufacturer of Polyamide may sell rolls of material
to be laminated to Polyethylene for meat vacuum packaging. These materials may
be sent for further processing at a packaging converter who may print, cut or slit
reels, make bags and pouches etc.
Each process is different and requires different disciplines and working practices.
This document cannot cover each materials and type diversity, but covers disciplines
to ensure the safety and quality of packaging produced is to the customer’s
specification and that the packaging will be fit for purpose and meets legislative
Many packaging manufacturers and converters produce packaging for food and non
food use. Whilst this document is aligned to the food industry it could be used,
where required for non food packaging which may be relevant to such items as
packaging for cosmetics and skin care, diapers and other high risk items.
Where operations for the manufacturer or converting of packaging for food
packaging and non food packaging take place in the same area the whole area shall
be designated to operate within the SQF Standard requirements.
If non food packaging is manufactured, converted or handled in separate areas, the
non food packaging areas need not be subject to the SQF Standard requirements
provided that the impact in not detrimental to the quality, safety or legality of food
packaging materials within the food packaging areas.
It is not envisaged that a packaging manufacturer of converter could have an area
that produces food and non food packaging in the same area and on the same
equipment that is not covered by the SQF Standard requirements.