With competition between protein products like meat, poultry, and plant-based proteins increasing, newer packaging certifications can be a powerful way to differentiate brands.
Meat and poultry processing facilities can benefit by being aware of and choosing ingredients—including packaging—that have achieved one or more of the newest certifications that apply either to their ingredients or the facilities where packaging is produced. Because packaging touches the food it covers, it should be treated as an ingredient.
Being able to offer a competitive difference for our customers is exactly why Flavorseal has pursued a full range of certifications relative to our packaging processes and manufacturing facilities.
Currently we offer customers five innovative food grade product certifications recognized by retailers and consumers alike. Each of the following achievements appeals to brands, retailers and consumers concerned about packaging production standards, ingredients and quality control. Each certification falls into one of two categories: those for the overall facility, and those for specific products. Read on to learn about each certification and its benefits to buyers and sellers:
- SQF 8.0 Food Safety & Quality Certified. This food safety certificate, part of the Safe Quality Food Institute’s Safe Quality Food Program, is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative and trusted by buyers around the world. It’s a third-party certification that applies to the Flavorseal production facility, and having the certification shows our customers that we have the processes and controls in place to maintain quality and safety levels as defined by Edition 8 of the Safe Quality Food Code. Buyers who require SQF certification can gain peace of mind and a sense of security in knowing their suppliers have analyzed hazards, assessed risks, and developed proactive prevention strategies. This also can increase consumer confidence and loyalty in their products. Buyers also like it because it’s a single program and standard they can apply to all of their suppliers. Because SQF does maintain a Certified Site Directory, certified organizations may be easier for potential buyers to locate.
- Kosher Certified. Kosher certification is conferred by an independent agency, with one of the most widely recognized being Organized Kashrut Laboratories (OK Labs), creator of the familiar circular Kosher logo. This product-specific certification confirms that a product meets the requirements and restrictions of Kosher law and is often viewed by consumers as a symbol of quality. Some consumers seek Kosher products for religious reasons, while others, such as vegetarians and lactose intolerant individuals, choose these products to fulfill dietary needs. Flavorseal has achieved Kosher Certification for our processing netting, cook chill and cooking bags, shrink bags, and vacuum pouches. Our bags, shrink bags and vacuum pouches are certified Kosher for Passover as well. Companies with Kosher accreditation can market products to both Kosher and mainstream markets. For example, vegans and vegetarians may want to purchase goods that do not use animal products in any part of their preparation. This makes Kosher products appealing to a wider audience. Because the demand for these products has risen in the last few years, having this certification related to packaging and other ingredients can boost business.
- Certified Gluten-Free. Gluten-Free and Certified Gluten-Free are two options available on our seasoning transfer products. Available upon request, the option ensures that the spices and processing aids that go into our seasoning transfer products comply with the gluten-free guidelines set forth by NSF International. In addition, the manufacturing process is separate to avoid cross-contamination from non-gluten-free products. Three organizations currently certify products and companies gluten-free: the Gluten Intolerance Group's Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), the Allergen Control Group/Canadian Celiac Association (ACG/CCA), and NSF International.
- Certified Organic. Flavorseal is currently a facility-only certified body for Certified Organic products, with the option to pursue certification for specific products upon request. Certified Organic products use only organic ingredients in the seasonings and processing aids, and the manufacturing process is set up to avoid cross-contamination from non-organic products. It’s important to note that the USDA Organic Seal, which is given to products that are certified 100% organic, is not the same as the USDA organic label. The organic label is typically used when a product, including food, clothing, and personal care products, has some organic ingredients. If a product carries the USDA Organic Seal, or if a food product states "Organic" on the packaging, it must be certified organic.
- Non-GMO Project verified. An additional certification option available for Flavorseal’s seasoning transfer products, Non-GMO Project Verified Certification was established by The Non-GMO Project, a mission-driven nonprofit organization. This means that the processing aids used to manufacture these products do not contain any genetically modified products. To achieve this certification, products have to be evaluated by a third-party technical administrator and meet the Non-GMO Project’s Standard for GMO avoidance. The standard supports the “Non-GMO Project Verified” claim by maintaining rigorous requirements related to labeling, quality assurance, procurement, testing, segregation and cleanout, and supply chain traceability. According to the Project organization, Non-GMO Project Verified is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry, representing over $26 billion in annual sales and more than 50,000 Verified products for over 3,000 brands. Products with this seal give assurance that a product has completed a comprehensive third-party verification for compliance, and brands that have achieved this status, such as our customers, benefit from the overall promotional efforts of the Project.
Each of these certifications holds specific appeal for consumers, suppliers and retailers alike, and provides additional ways for suppliers to market their products to specific or larger audiences. If you’d like additional information on how to implement these certified packaging products in your process, please get in touch with us.