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Abstrax Hops First Terp Supplier Awarded SQF “Food Safety in Food Manufacturing and Quality”

Abstrax has achieved the highest level of SQF certification. Learn what this significant achievement means for Abstrax Hops.

At Abstrax, we operate at a unique intersection of the beverage industry. Master Cicerone® and Abstrax Hops sales manager Craig Thomas said it best, “We've brought new technologies into the brewing space, invented new ways of delivering impactful, consistent, sustainable flavors to beverages, and we’ve reconfigured paradigms that the brewing industry didn't even know existed.”

Our passion for this industry has been the driving force behind our dedication to providing safe, high-quality ingredients. In 2023, we became SQF certified for “Food Safety Code in Food Manufacturing” (formerly known as Level 2 certification). Today, we’ve elevated our certificate of registration to "SQF Food Safety for Food Manufacturing and Quality” (previously known as Level 3 Certification). 

We are the only manufacturer of terpene-based products to achieve certification as being compliant with the most rigorous global food safety and quality control program in the industry. This achievement is not only a testament to our continuous efforts to improve all aspects of our operations but also proof that the brewing industry can achieve excellence. 

Learn more about SQF certification and discover what our latest achievement means for our partners.

What is SQF

The SQF (Safe Quality Food) Institute is a division of FMI—The Food Industry Association, established to administer the SQF Program, a leading global food safety and quality certification and management system.


What is SQF Certification?

The simplest answer? SQF, or Safe Quality Food, certification means that a manufacturer has proven its commitment to excellence and safety through stringent quality control management. That makes it sound pretty standard, but this program is globally recognized and is known for its unparalleled quality control standards and rigorous audits.

SQF Certification is acquired through an independent, external audit to verify “that a product, process, or service complies with international, regulatory, and other specified standard(s) and enables a food producer to give assurances that food has been produced, prepared, and handled according to the highest possible standards.”

Unlike ISO 9001:2015 and FSSC 22000 certification, which must only be recertified every three years with annual "surveillance" audits, manufacturers who wish to maintain their SQF Certification must be recertified every year to ensure continued quality control. Additionally, SQF-certified businesses receive a score after each audit, similar to health department evaluations for restaurants. 

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These “grades” provide important transparency and highlight a commitment to excellence. In contrast, ISO and FSSC22000 audits are ungraded (e.g., pass or fail). This makes it challenging to differentiate between companies merely meeting the minimum requirements and those demonstrating exemplary food safety practices.

This is just the beginning. The SQF Program is considered one of the most stringent in the food safety industry, and, as such, the process is lengthy and exhaustive. 

SQF Fundamentals Program

This is exactly what it sounds like — an introduction to the fundamentals of food safety. The goal of this program is to help businesses incorporate robust food safety standards into their existing practices. Businesses who successfully complete the SQF Fundamentals Certification process demonstrate “their commitment to food safety and quality management, and [the certificate] may be used to enhance their credibility with customers and stakeholders.”

While the process for achieving this certification is still rigorous, it’s the easiest of the certifications to achieve.

SQF Food Safety Code in Food Manufacturing

Formerly known as Level 2, SQF Food Safety Code in Food Manufacturing incorporates everything from the previous certification as well as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) certification. This additional certification involves careful monitoring of critical control points to identify, control, and prevent potential food safety hazards.

This achievement is commendable, and we were thrilled to be awarded this certification in 2023. However, given our commitment to continuously improving our operations, we viewed this as an important stepping stone towards the final and most difficult certification.

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What is “Food Safety for Food Manufacturing and Quality” and Why Does it Matter?

Previously known as Level 3 certification, Food Safety for Food Manufacturing and Quality is considered the gold standard for SQF-certified businesses. 

This achievement indicates that a manufacturer has met all of the requirements for the previous certifications, as well as implemented corrective actions to prevent risks of poor quality.

We're immensely proud to have been awarded this certification because it signifies the culmination of our dedication to food safety and quality management.

More than that, it aligns with our mission to support an industry that promotes consumer safety and the use of ingredients that meet or exceed the highest possible quality standards.

What Does Our SQF Certification Mean For You?

Let’s just say it means a lot more than simply seeing the prestigious SQF Quality Shield on our website.

When product formulations include ingredients from SQF-certified facilities, businesses take additional steps to avoid recalls and the hazards that may cause them. This commitment to quality is also paramount to consumer safety and confidence. 

The industry has made great strides toward building public trust, but we’re not done yet. By choosing Abstrax as your supplier, you're partnering with a company that values your customers' safety just as much as you do and is continually investing in processes that prioritize quality, safety, and compliance.

SQF Certification: Promoting Excellence in the Beverage Industry

We have the privilege of working alongside some of the foremost experts in beer and botanical terpene extraction. We’ve collaborated with brewing legends and visionaries, and we’ve witnessed the industry go from the Wild West to one that’s streamlined and data-driven. 

We’re not stopping there, though. We’re passionate about pushing the industry forward with the highest standards of quality and safety, collaborative educational efforts, and peer-reviewed research.

Join us in our commitment to excellence in product formulations, ethical business practices, and consumer safety. 

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