Novi, Mich.-based Michigan Milk Producers Association said its Constantine and Ovid manufacturing plants have been awarded SQF Level 3 certification by the Safe Quality Food Institute. The cooperative received “excellent” ratings at both processing facilities, the highest ranking awarded by SQFI, a globally trusted and accepted food safety and quality program.

MMPA is a member-owned and -controlled dairy cooperative and dairy ingredient processor serving approximately 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. It ranks No. 52 on the Dairy 100, this magazine’s annual ranking of the largest dairy processors in North America. Revenues in 2014 were $449 million and in 2013 they were $361 million.

 “It took cooperation and dedication from everyone within the system to achieve this highest level of SQF certification and showcase our product quality,” said MMPA general manager Joe Diglio. “SQF certification grants us the ability to compete effectively in the global dairy marketplace and builds new opportunities for the future.”

Last summer, MMPA’s Constantine and Ovid manufacturing plants successfully obtained Level 2 SQF Certification after over a year streamlining processes, updating facilities, reorganizing traffic patterns and evaluating food safety at every step of the production process. Thousands of pages of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plans and standard operating procedures were created to train employees and prepare for the rigorous auditing process. The past year was spent focusing on the additional requirements to achieve Level 3 SQF Certification.

 “Level 3 SQF Certification distinctly sets MMPA apart and receiving this accreditation shows that we are committed to food safety and quality,” said MMPA Director of Quality Amandeep Dhillon.