When you talk about dairy purchasing groups it doesn't take long before Quality Chekd Dairies of Naperville, Ill. enters the conversation. But Managing Director Peter Horvath is reluctant to use the term purchasing group in describing the organization.
"We're unique," Horvath says. "Our purchasing program is only one of the services that our members find value in."
Indeed Quality Chekd offers an array of services, they include:
- Marketing and Sales Services
- Quality & Food Safety Support
- Quality Assurance Support and HACCP compliance
- Purchasing Services, Including a Dedicated B2B Program
- Training and Education Programs That are Dairy Specific
- Management Seminars Tailored to the Latest Industry Issues
- Coordination and Expansion of Export and Import Activities
Founded in 1944, Quality Chekd is a member-owned organization of more than 40 independent dairy processors with over 120 manufacturing facilities located throughout the United States, Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia. Quality Chekd provides member companies with quality and food safety services and guidelines that focus on providing consumers with world-class dairy products that are endorsed with the Quality Chekd trademark:
In addition to offering services related to purchasing, training and education, and quality and food safety, QC also functions as a trademark marketing organization. In fact, it is the single largest independent company of its kind.
Quality Chekd has also formed a number of partnerships and alliances to broaden the services it provides to members. In 1987 a strategic alliance was formed with Silliker Laboratory, to provide services including bacterial, chemical testing, and organoleptic testing, and which are tested in an Interstate Milk Shippers (IMS) approved laboratory.
Quality Chekd provides an array of Quality & Food Safety consultation services including quality improvement strategies, lab testing programs, member audits, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs, benchmarking of productivity and quality, labeling and product development, and co-packer programs.
In 2001, Quality Chekd and Seco Golden "100" formed a partnership. "We're very proud of our relationship with Seco," Horvath says. "It's become a vital part of the value of our marketplace and provided many valuable opportunities for both Quality Chekd and Seco Members. In fact, since the partnership was formed, we have doubled our buying power and continue to grow through the program."
Quality Chekd maintains an award and recognition program to help recognize member dairies for product, operations and marketing efforts. An annual business meeting is held in early December as well as a Spring Leadership & Management Conference with a Supplier Trade Show. These meetings are a time to get together with other members, share ideas, network and learn about the latest trends and issues in the dairy industry.
All the training programs at Quality Chekd have been customized to the dairy environment. The highly interactive workshops use dairy-specific role-plays, case studies, and individual and small group activities. To continue the learning process, they follow workshops with application exercises. They offer on-site or regional workshops, tapes from the extensive media library, or materials from the Cow Tech Bookstore.
Purchasing services include packaging, commodities, ingredients, chemicals and many other items. Call Quality Chekd for a full detail list.
With regard to the future, says Horvath, "Quality Chekd looks forward to continuing success in the United States dairy markets as it adds new members. We are also excited about our recent growth in Latin America and we expect great success in this market."