MIDDLEBURY, Ind. — MMPA, a regional dairy marketing cooperative and dairy processor, announced today the re-certification of the recently acquired Deutsch Käse Haus in SQF Level 2. The certification was issued by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a globally trusted, recognized and accepted food safety and quality program. The cooperative received “excellent” ratings, the highest ranking awarded by SQFI.
“A key core value guiding MMPA is quality. Our members produce superior quality milk, enabling us to produce superior quality products,” said Joe Diglio, MMPA general manager. “When we welcomed the Deutsch Käse Haus to the MMPA family, it was essential we reaffirmed our dedication to quality. The SQF certification reiterates our commitment in providing consumers with a safe, quality product.”
To achieve SQF certification, the team at the cheese plant has worked since MMPA acquisition in November 2016 to evaluate food safety at every step of production in preparing for the rigorous auditing process. According to MMPA management, the audit process helped integrate the Deutsch Käse Haus and align production with MMPA’s core values.
SQF is a Global Food Safety Institute (GFSI) benchmark recognized by retailers around the world as a meticulous, credible food safety management system. Many national retailers and grocery store chains require their suppliers have SQF Level 2 certification. A growing number of countries, including China, accept SQF-certified products.
“Retaining SQF certification keeps the cheese processing facility up-to-date with food safety regulation and helps articulate our high standards to customers and ensure we are producing a safe, quality product,” said Amandeep Dhillon, MMPA director of quality.
The Deutsch Käse Haus, located in Middlebury, Indiana, processes around 400,000 pounds of milk per day. The plant mainly produces Colby cheese, in addition to Colby-jack, Monterey-jack, Cheddar, pepper-jack cheese and other flavors.
Looking ahead, the MMPA is taking steps to reach SQF Level 3 certification at this location. MMPA owns two other dairy processing plants in Michigan, both certified in SQF Level 3 since 2015.
MMPA is a member owned and controlled dairy cooperative and dairy processor serving approximately 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.
— Michigan Milk Producers Association