QAFP (Quality Assurance for Food Products) is a multi-product food quality program created in 2009. Its creation results form a dynamic development of the meat industry, observations of the new market trends, and a response to the ever-growing demands of today’s clients of the food industry. The QAFP implements the EU concept of a full transparency of the production process based on strict norms and the production of a repetitive, high quality, flavorful product.
The first attempts to create the QAFP trade classification started in 2010 from the initiative of the National Poultry Council – the Chamber of Commerce (KRD-IG). Its aim is to stimulate the development in the breeding and raising the quality of the breeding and the production processes in the poultry industry. Its assumptions were developed by a group of experts from the leading Polish universities (i.e Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Institute of Animal Production of Krakow, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn). The introduction of QAFP was also supported by the market experts including the professors from the University of Warmia and Mazury, National Research Institute of Animal Production — Experimental Production in Kołuda Wielka, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and quality experts from the selected poultry production factories. The program was officially launched in 2011.
The foundation of the Quality Assurance for Food Products system are the assumptions based on two ideals of the poultry production process:
- “farm to table” philosophy implemented in the European Union which guarantees that customers obtain high quality products of outstanding flavor;
- constant supervision of the veterinary physicians at every stage of the poultry production process.
The Quality Assurance for Food Products (QAFP) applies to three groups of products: whole chicken and chicken cuts, turkey breast, whole young Polish oat goose and the cuts thereof. The requirements embrace all the stages of production: from breeding and animal feeding to the husbandry conditions, slaughtering, transportation, confectioning, packing to storing and selling. Meeting all the requirements of the QAFP system confirms that at each stage of the food production process high safety and quality were preserved.
The QAFP label ensures customers that during the entire production process is was completely forbidden to apply antibiotics, growth stimulators and hormones and meat is free of injections or presence of additional substances. The system emphasizes animal welfare, proper production infrastructure, providing constant veterinary supervision, and maintaining high hygiene of people, equipment, and vehicles during the entire production process. The requirements concerning meat packaging also play a crucial role in the QAFP system. Their standardization by presenting proper conditions and conducting constant supervisions are the key in obtaining a high quality product. One of the recommended packing techniques is MAP which minimizes the development of microbes and preserves flavor and quality of meat and prolongs “best before” date. The labeling process is of great importance as it provides the final customers with detailed information about every stage of the production process.
The authors of the program made sure that the outstanding characteristics of the QAFP products are repetitive – it means that the consumer is sure that the strict norms have been and will be obeyed by the producers and the characteristics of the product will remain unchanged. In order to preserve these standards there are regular supervisions and detailed audits compulsory for every company attempting to obtain the QAFP certificated or already possessing it.
For the end consumer, the QAFP certificate guarantees that the product purchased is fresh, has outstanding flavor and retains all the characteristics and nutrients. Additionally, a consumer is sure that the entire production process has followed strict norms and the meat meets all the food safety requirements.