Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is an industry-driven initiative providing thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain. GFSI brings together leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing and food service companies, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry to collaborate on how to make food sector supply chains function more effectively and cohesively, with the objective to share knowledge and promote a harmonised approach to food safety across the food industry. This work is achieved through technical working group and stakeholder meetings, conferences and regional events.
GFSI provides a benchmarking framework for food schemes. This concept was developed in the late 90s, during which period there had been a number of food safety issues for the industry. At the time there were a number of public and proprietary food safety certification schemes and supplier assurance schemes which provided various levels of food safety assurance to customers and consumers. The industry had lost confidence and was looking for a way to cut through the complexity. This is where GFSI and the benchmarking framework were born. Within the framework GFSI recognises schemes that are able to provide food safety outcomes required by food customers and consumers, through reviewing the scheme standards, audit regimes and scheme management. Benchmarking requirements are clearly stated in the GFSI Guidance Document, currently at version 6.
GFSI of today is more than a benchmarking organisation, it now tackles other issues that effect the safety of food and food supply chains, including:
food safety auditor competence and certification;
market access through their Global Markets Programme; and
strategies for engagement with governments and international organisations through their Global Regulatory Affairs Working Group; and
For more information on GFSI please visit their website at www.mygfsi.com