Recognizing the critical importance of the supply chain in reducing the likelihood of contaminated foods reaching store shelves, Georgia-Pacific Corrugated (, a leading manufacturer and marketer of corrugated packaging materials, is on a path to achieve Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification in all its box plants and produce yards in the United States. Georgia-Pacific's corrugated packaging group began the certification process in 2013 as a means to provide verifiable proof to customers that stringent food safety control systems have been implemented. More than 75 percent of its plants are certified, with some currently undergoing recertification.  Nearly all of the company’s box plants will complete the process by the end of November 2014.

Benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), SQF gives manufacturers, retailers and foodservice providers around the world a single, credible food safety management system across the entire supply chain. Based on government and industry food safety requirements, the facility-wide SQF certification provides businesses with the documentation needed to demonstrate increased food safety practices for packaging materials. Undergoing the SQF certification process underscores the commitment of Georgia-Pacific Corrugated to all aspects of safety and its customer focus.

“As packaging suppliers, we share our customers’ commitment to food safety to protect consumers’ health and brands from costly recalls wherever possible,” says John Dravk, product stewardship manager for Georgia-Pacific Corrugated. “Being SQF certified not just in one of our plants, but in all of our box plants in the U.S., is a valuable investment for our customers and our business, as well as each of us personally, as we all want a safe food supply chain for our families.”

“Taylor Farms is committed to consistently delivering the safest, highest quality value added food products that our customers have come to expect from us,” says Ross Bava, director of research and development at Taylor Farms.  “Having a packaging supplier that shares our commitment to a safe food supply chain gives us greater confidence that we can continue to meet our customers’ expectation.”

“With food safety regulations becoming more and more rigorous, customers can have the peace of mind that one more step in the supply chain has the necessary documentation to meet this criteria,” says Billy Medof, president of Georgia-Pacific Corrugated.

Several enhancements have been implemented in the company’s facilities, including state-of-the-art hand washing stations and metal detectors, as well as line clearance standards to prevent the co-mingling of different orders. The company also has a product stewardship program in place that can quickly track back to the roll of paper used to make the package and other material supplies, such as ink and starch.