Hickory Harvest Foods, an ingredients processor in Akron, Ohio, specializes in roasted and flavored nuts, trail mixes, dried fruits, and other products. The certification demonstrates to the processing operation’s clients and consumersthat its processes and procedures conform to food safety standards established by the Global Food Safety Initiative.
Mike Swiatkowski, vice president of sales and marketing for Hickory Harvest Foods, told FoodProductionDaily the company is a stickler for safe food practices, and the certification proves it to the rest of the world.
“Our SQF Level 2 certification validates our commitment to providing the safest standards in food processing,” he said. “We understand our customers need and desire the assurance that the products they purchase and consume come from responsible manufacturers in terms of food safety.”
The audit was conducted by Silliker Global Certification Services, an independent certification firm headquartered in Australia, but with offices all over the world. SQF Level 2 certification is accepted across the industry as a way for food manufacturers to demonstrate they adhere to excellent quality control, documentation, and cleanliness.
Hickory Harvest Foods produces and packages nuts, fruits, snacks, and confections. Its brands, including Hickory harvest Foods and IM Good Snacks labels, are sold at a large number of retailers.
Swiatkowski added the certification could broaden the market opportunities for Hickory Harvest Foods.
“This will also allow our company to target larger retailers/distributors throughout the United States,” he said.