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Hitting the Standards to Keep Customers


APC Paper, in Norfolk, NY manufactures paper using 100% recycled product with state-of-the-art, efficient cleaning equipment, turning what would have been headed for landfills into high quality paper ready for the converting industry to shape into new consumer products. They employ around 60 people in this tiny community known for its rural beauty and the rivers that make paper mills one of the strongest area industries.

The Challenge

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into law in 2011 was the most sweeping reform of U.S. food safety laws in more than 70 years. The goal was to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it, but as a comprehensive overhaul, it brought a lot of confusion up and down the food supply chain once compliance deadlines began to go into effect in 2016. APC’s largest clients, including a major fast food brand, began asking for confirmation that they were meeting the new standards. Around that same time, the FTC revised their Green Guides, which was implementing new recycled material definitions. If a company wanted to claim 70 or 80 percent recycled material in their products, they were required to do so with the new guidelines. APC turned to CITEC, part of the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and MEP National Network™.
APC needed to ensure that it was compliant with FSMA Standards and its Environmental Marketing representations. Kate Chepeleff of CITEC has been instrumental in helping APC meet these high standards and representations. Her work with our staff has brought us to a new level.
— Tom Moore, President

MEP's Role

CITEC Business Advisor Kate Chepeleff is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual who is also FSSC 22000 auditor qualified, which means she has studied and understands the requirements of the FSMA for all facilities who need to follow food safety guidelines including any facility that manufactures, processes, packs or holds food for human or animal consumption in the U.S. She was able to work with APC to meet GMP standards for the FSMA as well as develop and implement a Food Safety Plan. Her audits of their system enabled APC to keep their largest client.

A similar audit was provided against the FTC standards to ensure that APC met the requirements for labeling their materials with the “80% recycled material” label. Even though all of APC’s incoming material was previously heading for the landfill, the FTC has strict guidelines about what may or may not be considered recycled. Chepeleff’s annual audit and report allow APC to demonstrate they have good systems in place to label their materials properly, helping APC to meet their customers' requirements for use of recycled materials.

Created July 15, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021