What You Need to Know about GFSI
Companies belonging to the food industry should know about the Global Food Safety Initiative or GFSI. It is an initiative driven by the industry that provides guidance and thought leadership on food safety management systems that are required on the supply chain. GFSI standards food safety is the result of the collaboration between the top food safety experts from food service, manufacturing, and retail companies. Representatives from international organisations, academia, service providers, and governments also provided some input in the formulation of the standards. They meet at stakeholder and technical working group meetings, regional events, and conferences to promote harmonised approach to food safety management.
The goal of the GFSI is to ensure that consumers have access to safe food. The organisation makes sure that food safety management systems are continuously improved so that consumers get high-quality food no matter where they are in the world. Consumers just need to look for the GFSI certification to find out whether the product is safe or not.
Objectives of the GFSI
The GFSI wants to reduce the safety risks with regards to food. The organisation delivers convergence and uniformity in the food safety management systems to make them more effective.
The organisation also helps in managing costs in the food system by improving operational efficiency, as well as removing redundancy in the process. Companies that follow the GFSI standards food safety will improve their overhead costs.
It is also the goal of the GFSI to develop standards in food safety that will create consistency in the global food systems. The standards also ensure the effectiveness and uniformity of the systems.
Lastly, the GFSI serves as an international platform where companies, organisations, governments, and other stakeholders share their knowledge, collaborate, and meet each other. It brings food safety experts together through a worldwide network.
History of the GFSI
The 1990s saw a series of high-profile international food safety issues that include listeria, dioxin, and BSE. The food industry during that period experienced a lot of audits as brand manufacturers and retailers audited factories against in-house standards. Each company had its own standards, which led to different results, depending on which guide the company followed. Leaders of food retailers agreed to take action to have some type of consistency. And as a result, the Global Food Safety Initiative was founded in May 2000.
At present, the GFSI serves as a benchmarking organisation that brings together food safety experts from across the globe. The GFSI doesn’t provide the certificates, but instead a third party company provides certification services. The third party audits a food service company against the schemes and given a GFSI certification once they have passed it.