Portola Packaging, Inc. achieved Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute certification recently for its three U.S. closure manufacturing facilities-Batavia, Ill; Kingsport, Tenn. and Tolleson, Ariz.

“Portola has an ongoing commitment to food safety. By pursuing SQF’s stringent, independent auditing process, this was just one more way we could prove to brand owners that we hold ourselves to the highest possible standard,” said Jason Bauer, director of corporate quality, Portola.

Portola was the first closure manufacturer to achieve the SQF 2000 Level 2 certification. This means that the company successfully demonstrated how its operations comply with federal food safety legislation, including certified Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP), and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). The certification process took six to eight months to complete and each facility received a rating of “excellent.”

“Many of our primary customers--dairy, juice and water brand owners-are pursuing SQF certifications for their own facilities. As a result, these manufacturers are likely to mandate that their suppliers also be certified. We wanted to make sure we’ve already met that benchmark when the request comes in,” Bauer said.

Additionally, all of Portola’s U.S. facilities are ISO-9001 certified. Its Guadalajara, Mexico plant received its ISO-22000 re-certification in September 2010.