SIOUX FALLS, SD. — Houdek, formerly Prairie AquaTech, announced that its manufacturing facility in Volga, SD, has achieved Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification. Alongside the certification, Houdek also announced the first ingredient to be marketed under the SQF facility will be a fermented plant-based protein made for the pet food and treat industry.

According to the company, its SQF-certified facility is the only pet food ingredient facility in South Dakota. The facility produces Houdek’s Protéger ingredient, a plant-based protein specifically made for the pet food industry that boasts sustainable benefits.

“Our team's achievement of SQF certification and our launch of Protéger in the global pet food market go hand-in-hand,” said Mark Luecke, co-founder and chief executive officer, Houdek. “This is an important next step in the planned growth of the company, bringing the positive impact that we have delivered to the global aquaculture industry to the global pet food industry.”

The SQF certification is a rigorous food safety and quality program recognized by food, pet food and animal feed manufacturers throughout the globe. The SQF program is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and includes certifications designed for all areas of the food supply chain.

“The SQF program is an incredibly rigorous third-party verification standard, and we were glad to see that Houdek understands the importance of participating in a voluntary program like this,” said Matt Jones, vice president of operations for Validus, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc. “As the first South Dakota pet food ingredient facility to achieve this certification, it is something they can be proud of while allowing them to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.”

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