Cloverland Dairy, Baltimore, has been awarded a Level 3 Certification from the Safety Quality Foods Institute (SQF) -- the highest possible qualification, which testifies to appropriate protection being in place from standard hygiene issues all the way up to, and including, terrorist attacks.

Cloverland said it invested $250,000 in preparation for the SQF review, which included rigorous testing of the dairy's quality management system. The formal certificate of registration, which covers dairy food processing as well as ice, drink and beverage processing, is valid through August 4, 2013.

“Consumers demand proof that food safety control systems have been implemented by those who produce and supply food items that they consume," says Ralph Kemp, president of Cloverland. “As dairy farmers and milk processors, we're a family business dedicated to providing the public with the most wholesome milk products available. And this SQF rating testifies to the extent of Cloverland's commitment to safety.”

SQF is among the leading global food safety and quality certification and management systems. Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF program assures buyers and customers that food has been produced, processed and handled according to the highest standards.

The SQF certification process involves multiple steps. After selecting the desired, goal level of certification, Cloverland Dairy engaged in a lengthy pre-assessment to expose potential weaknesses or shortcomings. Then, SQF conducted the actual Level 3 certification audit, a three-day facility audit that also included a comprehensive review of relevant company documents.

Cloverland's processing facility has 338 employees. A significant portion of all milk sold throughout the surrounding region -- to schools, retail stores, military bases, hospitals, and other locations -- passes through this plant. The dairy processor also manufactures ice cream, beverages and water. It reported to Dairy Foods 2011 sales of $125 million, making the firm one of the 100 largest dairty processors in North America. 

Founded in 1919 by the Kemp family, Cloverland Dairy of Baltimore is a major producer of fluid milk throughout the Baltimore/Washington, DC market area.