FRESNO, OH - Pearl Valley Cheese, a family owned and operated cheese manufacturer, recently earned the certification of SQF Level 2 for the first time. The certification was developed by the Safe Quality Food Initiative (SQFI), a highly respected institution that benchmarks the requirements for food safety against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The certification is widely accepted as industry standard and is required by many national grocery store chains as well as food service distributors.
“Attaining the SQF Level 2 certificate was really a huge accomplishment for us,” said Kurt Ellis, Pearl Valley Quality Manager, “We believe this certification will open opportunities with new customers and help us to retain many of our current customers who are continually increasing their supplier requirements. There have been times we would hear from grocery stores or distributors that they love the flavors of our cheeses, but they could not purchase from us because we did not have this certification. It has been a long process, but implementing the SQF systems in our facility has truly helped us to develop policies and processes that improve our food safety and quality.”
To attain the certification, the company had to undergo an intensive 3-day audit process where an independent auditor inspected the facility and reviewed company policies and production records, ensuring the company adhered strictly to the SQF standards. SQF Level 2 approval status gives customers additional confidence that extreme care is taken to insure that the company’s products meet industry standards for food safety on a daily basis.
Pearl Valley Cheese produces a wide array of all-natural, specialty cheeses including Swiss, Colby, Marble, Pepper Jack, Lacey Swiss, Lacey Baby Swiss, and Cheddar. The company has received numerous awards for their cheeses including a Gold Medal at the World Championship Cheese Contest in 2014 for their Swiss Cheese. The factory processes around 275,000 pounds of milk per day which is sourced from many local farmers. An expansion to further increase capacity and storage is currently in construction and scheduled to be completed in April. In addition to the Pearl Valley branded items, much of their cheese is sold in private labels for regional and national food distributors.
The company was started by Swiss immigrants in 1928 and today the fourth generation of family members have joined the business. Anyone is welcome to visit the company cheese shop where you can see the cheese being made and enjoy fresh samples. Additional information on the company can be found on their website at www.pearlvalleycheese.com.
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