Private Label

4 Reasons to Partner with an SQF Certified Packaging Company

4 Reasons to Partner with an SQF Certified Packaging Company

Many of our customers in the retail, restaurant, and fresh food market segments need sustainable packaging solutions for custom and stock folding food cartons.

To serve this market better, Greif’s Consumer Packaging Group (CPG) becomes an SQF Certified supplier.

SQF Certification means that Greif CPG is qualified to work with large retailers and multinational manufacturers who demand SQF certification from their suppliers. SQF Certification also means that our customers can more easily create in-roads with new market segments and capitalize on a market for additional products.

What Is the SQF Certification?

SQF stands for Safe Quality Food. It is a Food Safety Management program created and managed by the SQF Institute that is used to manage food safety risks. Once implemented, the program is audited and certified annually by a third-party certification body.

Recognized by retailers, food service providers, and regulatory agencies around the world, SQF Certification ensures that suppliers have rigorous food safety and quality management systems in place.

To complete SQF Certification, a product supplier must have a rigorous system in place to manage food safety risks and provide safe products used that can be used by companies in the food supply chain. Working with an SQF certified supplier gives customers confidence that this rigorous food safety system is in place.

SQF Certification is based on government and industry food safety requirements. Businesses must have the tools and documentation necessary to easily demonstrate that they have taken steps to increase food safety. SQF Certification allows food safety and quality control systems to be verified and validated throughout the foodservice chain.

SQF Certification is reviewed annually, and SQF Certified suppliers must continually provide training, updated procedures, and refresher courses to maintain compliance within SQF standards.

There are different levels of SQF Certification based on the size of the business and the risk-level of the food you are handling. Being SQF Certified means you believe strongly in providing quality products for consumers, and you remain compliant with food safety standards set forth by the government and your industry.

Reasons to Partner with an SQF Certified Packaging Company

1 – Competitive Advantages of Working with an SQF Certified Supplier

SQF Certification is recognized worldwide and can open doors for your business. Retailers and dispensers often require that their suppliers have an SQF Certification, which helps assure safe business practices for both parties.

SQF Certification promotes confidence in food safety and quality, limits food safety incidents and recalls, and encourages retailers and foodservice providers to work with suppliers who have achieved SQF Certification.
Consumers don’t buy the food they don’t trust. Foodservice providers and retailers will pull products to protect their customers and themselves. And suppliers risk losing customers and brand image.

SQF Certification offers suppliers assurance that the food they’re selling meets the highest possible standards. It puts their contact information in an instantly accessible database that retailers and buyers can use to find a supplier they can trust.

By letting the public and your clients know that your company can be trusted when it comes to food health and safety, SQF Certification enhances your marketing image. Your company will be viewed as a reliable business and product supplier.

2 – Cost Advantages in Working with an SQF Certified Business

SQF Certification is recognized worldwide and incorporates government and industry standards. The standards and certification process ensures consistency in food safety and quality assurance and saves time and resources that have historically been lost to multiple and conflicting audit standards.

Working with an SQF Certified supplier improves process management by helping to proactively manage risk and avoid stock recoveries, market withdrawals, and re-work. It increases yield by reducing waste and streamlining risk and process management. Adherence to SQF standards means that businesses have taken steps to avoid supply chain disruptions due to food safety issues or catastrophic events like tornadoes or fires.

3 – Safety and Quality Advantages of Choosing an SQF Certified Supplier

Working with an SQF Certified supplier can address food safety requirements. For food suppliers and packaging managers, working with an SQF Certified provider assures your business partners that the safety standards, processes, and procedures you use, are among the most stringent in the food industry.

Using SQF Certified products also provides proof that you have done your due diligence. SQF Certified suppliers encourage a responsible agricultural and manufacturing process that complies with all regulatory requirements.

4 – SQF Certified Suppliers Have Rigorous Environmental Monitoring Standards

To maintain SQF Certification, a supplier must have an environmental monitoring program in place. The environmental monitoring program must include:

  • Risk-based monitoring to address known or expected concerns for all processes in the manufacturing of food packaging
  • Documented and implemented methods for a responsible environmental monitoring program
  • An environmental sampling and testing schedule that is appropriate for the nature of the product and that details the number and frequency of samples to be taken for any applicable pathogen
  • A plan for implementation of monitoring and corrective actions to be taken when unsatisfactory environmental testing results are observed

Learn How Partnering with an SQF Certified Supplier Can Benefit Your Business

Working with an SQF Certified supplier puts you in good hands. SQF Certification has been in place for more than 20 years and is used in all sectors of the food industry. Using an SQF Certified supplier like Greif CPG minimizes the risk that unsafe food will reach the market and gives your customers confidence that their supplier meets the most stringent standards in the industry.

Partnering with an SQF Certified supplier like Greif CPG will help you to deliver safe food to customers worldwide confidently.

Learn more about how partnering with Greif CPG can help your business.

Posted by Julia Briggs in LA Paper Box, Natural Products, Private Label
New trends in paper and paperboard packaging: repulpable barrier coatings

New trends in paper and paperboard packaging: repulpable barrier coatings

Consumers are increasingly choosing fast food options and eating meals at home.

While these two trends may seem counterintuitive, a closer analysis reveals that while many Americans want to eat at home, they do not necessarily want to cook at home.

Unlike years past, fast food does not always mean a burger and fries from McDonald’s. Many health-conscious consumers are choosing healthier fast food options, signing up for meal kits and grocery delivery services, or buying premade dishes at grocery stores.

One thing all of these food options have in common is the need for food packaging options.

The increase in “take out” choices are having an impact on the food delivery system, and on the environment, too. For example, looking at single-use paper-based cups, estimates show that 200 billion cups are thrown away every year in the U.S. alone. Only about 0.25% is recycled.

The good news is that fast food brands are capitalizing on the popularity of eco-friendly food packaging options. The most significant initiative came from Chipotle, which announced that by 2020 it plans to achieve 50% waste diversion for its food and packaging. According to the press release, this is similar to a move made two years ago by McDonald’s.

The goal is to have half of the restaurants’ waste accumulated from food and packaging be re-routed through a combination of recycling and composting rather than sent to landfills.

The Problem: Food Packaging Containers Are Not Recyclable

A major hurdle to achieving waste diversion is that the average fast-food containers for soda, french fries, and sandwiches are not recyclable.

Similarly, many take-out containers, like the typical Chinese food box or the take-out box from your favorite restaurant, are not recyclable either.

Many food containers that appear coated with wax (which can cause issues at the recycling plant) might actually be coated with polyethylene (PE) plastic. Often, the containers are made from fibers held together by a PE compound, or the container is lined with PE.

The PE serves as a moisture and gas barrier. As a moisture barrier, PE prevents transmission of liquids through the paper container. As a gas barrier, PE prevents the contents from absorbing gas in the air like oxygen and carbon dioxide, which can negatively affect the freshness and quality of food products.

PE and wax coatings have historically been used to seal porous paper, corrugated boxes, and sheets to provide a moisture barrier and/or moisture-vapor barrier to these substrates. The resulting paper product poses an environmental problem because it cannot be recycled through traditional channels.

Returning to the single-use paper-based cup mentioned above, the cup is often coated with PE to seal the rim, sides, and bottom of the cup. This coating makes the cup non-recyclable because PE is (currently) non-biodegradable. It also does not respond to microbial action in composting systems and breaks down into flakes during the repulping process, which blocks filtering screens.

PE and other food container coatings cause problems during the recycling process. For example, the PE moisture barrier separates from the fiber during the repulping process and creates additional residue in the recycling/milling process.

To create environmentally friendly, recyclable paper products, manufacturers are turning to a water-based coating. The water-based coating allows take-out containers that are recyclable, repulpable, and compostable.

The Solution: Water-Based Barrier Coatings Allows for Recycling

Water-based biopolymers and bio-waxes are derived from renewable resources. This means they can produce sustainably. They are also suitable for packaging applications that require specific water/moisture barrier properties or grease resistance and can replace PE formulations.

Also, water-based coatings could allow food containers to go to a traditional paperboard mill to repulped without creating additional residue. Then cups can be included in a mixer-paper bale without adding PE contamination. 

Learn More About Repulpable Barrier Coatings

For more information about the transition to water-based biopolymers and bio-waxes and how these trends can positively impact your business, turn to an experienced and trusted packaging expert like Greif.

Greif CPG is a leader in providing consumer packaging solutions at the best value to our customers. Our experienced team fully understands the packaging process and can help you stay on top of emerging trends by helping you control costs. We give our clients a competitive advantage by using cutting edge materials.

Contact us today by calling 216-281-7000, or email

Related articles:

Greif CPG’s onboarding process proves successful, helps private label keep up with growth

What’s hot in paperboard packaging?

Posted by Julia Briggs in LA Paper Box, Natural Products, Private Label
Greif CPG’s onboarding process proves successful, helps private label keep up with growth

Greif CPG’s onboarding process proves successful, helps private label keep up with growth

It’s so easy for up and coming private labels to get lost in the sea of larger folding carton suppliers. Exponential growth is common among smart third-party manufacturers. Keeping up with that growth, however, can be a major issue. It’s easy to crumble under the pressure to produce and deliver when your business is exponentially growing. Even when private labels offer premium products, we find they often lack the necessary insight to align their production with top retail store forecasting. And their most valuable asset, their brand, gets mishandled by suppliers who don’t understand the importance of that crucial product positioning and brand recognition that leads to a sale. Aside from everything that could go wrong, the good news is that private labels do not have to carry such burdens alone. At Greif CPG, we bring the knowledge that large brands rely on and offer the flexibility and dedication new private labels need to manage and support their growth.

Greif CPG recently aided a leading, private label brand that sells 100% grass-fed beef products. The client was working with a large consumer packaging service provider, however, there were issues. The provider was doing a great job until it was acquired by a much larger folding carton supplier. At that point, the quality of service declined quickly, timelines began to seemingly extend beyond reason, and the client began to feel they were no longer a priority.

Large folding carton suppliers often dictate their lead times and cannot flex to the needs of smaller brands. Forecasting is left up to the client and attention to packaging detail goes by the wayside because their typical clients can afford to market their brands beyond the store shelf.

Private labels need a partner to help sustain both their packaging inventory and their brand. And the packaging provider must be able to dig in deep, uncover the underlying issues, and offer strategic direction.

3 Ways to Succeed with Natural Product Packaging

Natural product sales are expected to reach $250 billion by 2020. There’s never been a better time to optimize packaging for this growing sector.


Transition to Greif CPG with our 6P onboarding process

At Greif CPG, before we start running cartons we do a very thorough onboarding of the customer. Our onboarding – or 6P process – is focused on producing outcomes through mutual participation to deliver premium professional services while staying passionate about what we do–packaging. The general manager of the plant, design engineer, onboarding specialist, manufacturing facility, COO, and our client rep complete the 6P process together. We review every single detail of the account until both teams are completely comfortable and know the expectations going forward. This is clearly communicated across both our entire teams to achieve the set goals. It’s a procedure in which a strategic assessment lays the foundation for a smooth transition from the customer’s previous supplier to Greif CPG.

The 6P process led us to discover this client’s biggest customer was a retailer known for insufficient forecasting and running a lot of weekend specials. Consequently, the client was only ever prepared for one month’s worth of inventory. The retailer would decide to run a Saturday special, meaning more inventory would be needed within the next couple weeks. We easily resolved this issue by holding back three months worth of inventory and shipping it as needed. Now the client is always prepared and ready to deliver.

Packaging the unpredictable

When packaging premium sausages, one quickly learns that not all sausages are equal. They come in a multitude of sizes. The client was experiencing issues with fitting the sausages into their packaging sleeves. To add to the issue, the packaging process was being carried out manually amid exponentially rapid growth. This inevitably caused unnecessary frustration. The client was desperately trying to fix the issue but lacked the expertise.

Greif CPG jumped in right away to modify their design so that going forward the packaging could be done by hand or machine. We knew the sleeve size we created did not fluctuate, so we went to visit the co-manufacturer. We watched their process, did a lot of extra investigating, and brought along our equipment engineers to analyze the equipment and offer strategic suggestions.

The client had shown interest in purchasing new equipment, so we went with them to Pack Expo. We walked alongside them through the booths, met with different equipment manufacturers, and shared packaging designs to find out what would be a possible solution and how much that would cost. We dedicated our time to ensure our client felt supported and had the expert assistance they needed through the entire process.

Learn More

As private packaging brands experience phenomenal success in their markets, it’s a common struggle to keep up with and simply understand their own growth and what it means for their future. A partner like Greif CPG provides the knowledge and experience required to build processes that work for our clients based on their unique, exacted needs.

Our client had the foresight to place a priority on finding a lasting solution for their business. In removing the commonly seen focus on reducing costs while employing new technologies, the client gained a solution that inevitably resulted in savings and streamlined processes. They were willing to dig into what was holding their business back and invest the time in our 6P process to reap the benefits and rewards of their efforts to evolve.

Learn how we can assist with a transition to Greif’s Consumer Packaging Group.

Posted by Julia Briggs in Private Label