by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

What’s New, What’s Always Been.

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —

As you know, the pandemic brought with it a focus on the people, places and things that are critical to maintaining some similarity to normal life. Healthcare workers, police and fire men and women, to name a few. Those of us in the food supply chain, from farmers and processors, to warehousing and trucking, are also cited as essential. It’s always nice to be recognized for the work you do; I just wish it wasn’t for these reasons. 

The pandemic also brought an increased awareness on supply chain performance, including warehouse efficiency and safety. In the cold food chain, there are those warehouses on the grower side of the supply chain that make sure only quality comes through the doors. And there are those on the distribution side that ensure only safe, quality food goes out the doors. Quality in and quality out; the pandemic has not changed that. And while I can’t speak for everyone in temperature-controlled logistics, I can say that there isn’t a person I know in this industry who isn’t working harder every day to protect the health of those around him or her while also striving to improve the logistics of safely moving frozen food to the right place at the right time.

First and foremost, of course, is worker safety, as stated in our Hanson Way. A recent Global Cold Chain Alliance survey shows 90% of respondents placing workforce protection as their top priority, followed by maintaining business continuity. Business continuity is virtually impossible to maintain if Teammates are not well. 

So, while the protocols may be new, safety and improvement have always been part of the Hanson Way. Direct-to-consumer frozen food ecommerce I’d put in the new column, but the determination and willingness to take on these new channel challenges has always been here. As our Teammates say, “Bring it on; we are Hanson Strong!”

Stay safe. 

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Why Our SQF Certification Matters to Your Business

Last week, we announced that Hanson Logistics has been awarded the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification, Edition 8, by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a globally trusted, recognized, and accepted food safety and quality program.

This farm-to-fork food safety and quality certification helps food producers assure their buyers that food products have been grown, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible global food safety standards. It can immediately improve your standing in the eyes of new partners and deals.

For everyone at Hanson Logistics, this achievement is a great validation of our hard work and our team’s commitment to quality operations. For you, it means increased protection in the event of recalls, improved operational efficiencies in our work together, managed risks, and peace of mind with certified due diligence.

The SQF Certification Process

Hanson Logistics’ Hartford, Michigan temperature-controlled facility received the certification, the first of our eight warehouses to become SQF Certified. There are a variety of requirements that our facility had to meet to achieve certification associated with safety and quality, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement.

The process can take between six and nine months and is a significant investment. We believe the practices it checks for and encourages are a smart way to assure food and perishable safety across the entire supply chain, including sourcing, processing, packaging, and delivery.

A core component of the certification is something that’s mission critical for your business: effective management of food safety hazards. When you hear that Hanson Logistics, or any other partner, is SQF certified, it means that they have a demonstrable commitment and processes in place to create, monitor, and manage a safe environment for food production.

SQFI provides a global, consistent certification process that is one of the most trusted in the world for food safety. The certification is important for every partner in the food supply chain, and we like that the body requires annual reviews to ensure that we are compliant and always follow best practices.

Benefits of SQF Certification

Achieving SQF certification requires that we develop process and business improvements that allow us to proactively identify and manage threats to the products we store and ship for customers like you. In the Hartford facility, these requirements apply to all of our operations, including long-term storage and outbound transportation designed to save you money and deliver your product to their destination as required 

Pairing SQF certification with the ability to fulfill larger, higher-frequency orders can also protect your bottom line by giving you access to a larger market. Not only will you be able to address order demands, but you’ll meet the increasing demand for supplier certifications coming from partners and buyers. Having a certified partner ensures that your operations can support the demands of larger retailers and chains.

You can also reassure your leadership that your products are in good hands.

We see certifications like SQF as a smart way to ensure we stay on top of food safety regulations and requirements. It is in concert with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), designed to improve safety from farm to fork. 

At the end of the day, SQF certification is a demonstration of our commitment to food safety, quality, legality, and support for all of our partners. Or, as our CEO Jim Riets says, “SQF Certification speaks to our team’s effort to meet and exceed that which is expected of them as logistics professionals. It’s recognition of our “Yes We Can” attitude, and we commend our Hartford team for a job well done.” 

Get to Know Our Michigan Facility

Our Hartford location is nestled in the heart of West Michigan’s fruit and vegetable farmlands. Consisting of 7 million cubic ft. of temperature-controlled space, we support a significant part of the regional grower community with offerings including blast freezing, racked storage, transportation management, and an unparalleled commitment to service quality.

Goods shipped from Hartford are labeled with the SQF certification, giving our partners a credibility boost as soon as those boxes and pallets arrive at their next destination.

Today’s consumers have increasingly complex demands for food management and safety. Those concerns are readily visible in the requirements from retailers and vendors. Give your products the best chance to exceed expectations, regulations, and requirements by partnering with an SQF Certified logistics company.

Learn how our certification might even save you money with a more efficient operation by contacting us today.