S.A.F.E. Program Modules

Standards-Based, Accountability-Driven, Food Excellence
Together, We Are S.A.F.E.

Want to know more about why S.A.F.E. matters?  Check these videos out!

Harlan SAFE Infographic


Harlan Foods has developed an important new program called S.A.F.E, which stands for Standards Based, Accountability Driven, Food Excellence. 

SAFE is designed to positively impact the environment our Food Professionals Operate in.  

S.A.F.E. has several components which can have a positive impact on your success and job satisfaction.  Let's take a look at them here:

1. Recruitment & Job Matching

Not all job seekers are a good fit for employment at today's Harlan Foods.  Today, we are looking for people who seek to improve their skills, professionalism and are looking to be a long-term team member.  To help these candidates, we work to provide as much information about what life is like at Harlan as possible.  During the interview process we also work to understand the candidate's areas of interest and skills so we can match this person to a job they will enjoy from day one.

2. Workplace Simulation

Harlan has developed a workplace simulation to help with job and skills matching. Each department of a Harlan facility is represented in the simulation and uses video, interactive tasks, and actual equipment used to provide a clear understanding of the work involved in the various roles within that department.

3. Mentorship

For the first 90 days of your employement, your entire team works to support mentor you.  Everyone chips in to make sure you feel welcome, safe, supported and are able to achieve your goals.  Each team participates in a contest which tracks employee retention.  Teams with the highest retention level are rewarded with Mentorship bonuses!  And, after you achieve your AFP certification you get to become a mentor and participate in that same bonus program!

4. Employee Certification

At the end of the 90-day mentoring period,  you have the opportunity to acquire your first professional certification.  This is Harlan's AFP certification.  When you achieve your AFP you receive a promotion and an increase in pay.  On top of the AFP certification, Harlan has several other more advanced certifications, which also come with promotions and pay increases when they are achieved.

5. Facility Certification

Each Harlan facility has the opportunity to be COE (Center of Excellence) Certified.  This happens when each of the production and support teams (such as maintenance, sanitation, quality, shipping and receiving as well as warehousing) achieve their production and operational goals (being in Green).  COE certification also requires that employee retention and satisfaction reach certain goals along with customer satisfaction scores.

Achieving COE status means that that facility's team is comprised of the very best of the very best.  They are achieving all of their metrics and winning all of their bonus and performance pay opportunities.

S.A.F.E. Food Manufacturing Professional Certifications

BLACK | Master CFP

Leads problem solving and documentation initiatives Responsible for innovation and Continous Improvement (CE) development, documentation and re-certification

Responsible for and trains to Line of Business (LOB) S.A.F.E standards, corrective action planning, tracking and reporting.

COE (Center of Excellence & Tiger Team) Delegate & Harlan Foods Performance Excellence Congress Representative

LOB is defined by specific and documented product requirements which are tied to a specific and documented manufacturing processes.

GREEN | Champion CFP

Data analytics, certification & testing administration, financial performance, R&D, new product development oversight. Supports Master CFP in deploying improvements and initiatives. Responsible for LOB team compliance oversight

Responsible for continous improvment (CE) deployments, customer satisfaction performance, quality and waster performance alignment, innovation initiative deployment.


Participates as a Certified Food Professional (CFP) team member.

Responsible for peer-based performance compliance and improvement coaching.

Responsible for mentoring and evaluating white CFP Apprentices.

Responsible for daily work flow, quality and throughout performance within assigned LOB/LOB Tasks.

WHITE | Apprectice AFP

Introductory level of knowledge Apprentice Food Professional Apprentice.

Must successfully complete Harlan Trainign Course and Evaluation Period within the acceptable period of time and meet or exceed CFP Apprentice performance scroing thresholds for CFP Certification and on-going employment beyond evaluation period.

SAFE Program


Q:        What is a Mentor?

A:        A mentor is a peer SME (Subject Matter Expert) who has a level of knowledge, experience, and know-how that they are willing to share to help others learn, grow, and improve.  A mentor must be in good employment standing, have good communication skills, a solid knowledge of all the tasks and functions of their department and be CFP certified.

Q:        Why are you asking me to be a Mentor?

A:        We believe by observing you on the shop floor that you possess these important skills and traits.

Q:        What do I get for being a Mentor?

A:        You receive several things.  First, you will be compensated for successfully mentoring new hires. Second, you will be seen as an SME by your peers, so you will gain an increased level of respect. Lastly, you will be bumped up from CFP to Master CFP which means you can be fast-tracked for further advancement in the company.

Q:        How many people will come to me with questions?

A:        Beyond your mentees, you likely could answer questions for others as well.  That is part of being an SME and a mentor.  How many questions you get, is likely tied to how good a mentor you choose to be.

Q:        How long do I have to be a Mentor?

A:        The mentor ‘term’ is three months.  If you enjoy it and do a good job, you may have the opportunity to extend it to six months.  However, at six months, each mentor must take a mandatory 3-month period off before they can re-apply for mentorship.

Q:        What if I try to be a mentor but don’t like it?

A:         If you don’t like being a mentor, you can choose to step down.  You will be asked to go through an exit interview to explain why you are choosing to step down.  The purpose of this is to understand how we can improve the program and work environment for others.  You will not be penalized for stepping down if it is simply not a good fit for you.

Q:        What if the people I mentor don’t do what I ask them to do or don’t follow my directions?

A:        If you are experiencing problems with mentees not following Harlan processes, standards and best-practices or not listening to your guidance, you can communicate this behavior to either the Supervisor, Shift Leader, or a member of the SAFE team.

Q:        Why is being a Mentor important?

A:        We can all learn from one another.  Being a new employee can be hard.  Not knowing the food industry or being new to manufacturing can be challenging or even scary.  Often, people can be afraid to ask questions.  Not having the right information or knowledge can hurt their performance. The performance of others or worse, can cause quality or even safety issues.  Mentors can help new employees quickly get up to speed and feel confident in their job.

Q:        Am I being measured on my performance as a Mentor and if so, what does that            mean?

A:        Yes.  You are measured by keeping your mentees in the program.  If your mentees gradate to AFP after 90 days, you have been a successful mentor.

Q:        How many people will I be responsible for mentoring?

A:        Up to, but no more than 3 mentees during each three-month term.

Q:        How will people know that I am a Mentor?

A:        Mentors will be introduced at NEO training to new employees, they are called out in team huddles.  Also, mentors will have their picture posted in common areas along with shift leaders and supervisors.

Q:        How are Mentors picked?

A:        Mentors can be nominated to supervisors, shift leaders or the SAFE leadership team.  Candidates must possess the qualities and meet the criteria outlined in the first FAQ question.




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Harlan is a world class food manufacturer with facilities across the United States and Canada.  

We are a leader in the manufacture of specialty and artisan baked goods, as well as other numerous innovative food products.  

Our goal is to consistently deliver to the retailers we serve a consistent supply of safe, quality food.

Corporate Office
7597 E US Highway 36
Avon, IN USA 46123
Harlan is a world class food manufacturer with facilities across the United States and Canada.

We are a leader in the manufacture of specialty and artisan baked goods, as well as other numerous innovative food products.

Our goal is to consistently deliver to the retailers we serve a consistent supply of safe, quality food.
All Right Reservied © 2023 Harlan Bakeries, LLC
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