FMI Introduces Ethical Sourcing Standard in SQF Program

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute, a division of the Food Marketing Institute, has added an Ethical Sourcing standard for labor and environmental practices to its supplier auditing programs.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute, a division of the Food Marketing Institute here, has added an Ethical Sourcing standard for labor and environmental practices to its supplier auditing programs.

The SQF Institute, which is now pilot-testing use of the standard and training auditors how to check companies for compliance, already audits suppliers worldwide for compliance with food safety and quality standards.

"The Ethical Sourcing standard will help advance fair labor practices and environmental stewardship on a global scale using the reach of the SQF program," said Jill Hollingsworth, FMI's group vice president of food safety programs. "This standard will give the food industry and consumers an extra measure of assurance that these practices are conducted according to the best available guidance and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations."

The environmental part of the standard, for example, addresses energy use, air emissions, water consumption, waste management, pollution prevention, land use and biodiversity. The labor component includes equal opportunity in hiring and employment, wage compliance, worker benefits and occupational health and safety.