GFSI: Continuous improvement of food safety management systems

The Initiative or is a corporate initiative to continuously improve systems to ensure confidence in the supply of safe food to consumers worldwide.


GFSI provides a platform for collaboration between retailers, manufacturers and providers, food supply chain service providers, organizations, academia and government agencies.


Key GFSI activities include establishing food safety through a benchmarking process. It is anticipated that this process will lead to of existing food safety systems and increase confidence, acceptance, and implementation of third-party throughout the food supply chain.

GFSI Guidance Document

Within GFSI, benchmarking is a “process by which a food safety-related system is compared to GFSI guidance.”

The current focus of the GFSI is to extend the requirements to all parts of the global food supply chain “from farm to fork.”


In 2000, food safety was the focus of corporate attention due to a series of high-profile recalls, quarantines and negative headlines about the food industry. There was also widespread fatigue in the industry as retailers conducted their own inspections or audits or contracted with a third party to do so. These were often conducted under food safety that lacked international certification and , leading to unparalleled audit results.

The GFSI was created to accomplish this by harmonizing to help eliminate duplicate audits throughout the supply chain.

GFSI has taken the benchmarking route and developed a model that establishes the equivalence of existing food safety and allows the market flexibility and choice.

Benchmarking model

This benchmarking model is based on the GFSI Guide, a multi- document written with input from food safety experts around the world. It defines the process by which food safety systems can be recognized by GFSI and provides guidance for these systems.

GFSI promotes continuous through the Guide, which is regularly updated with input from global industry to ensure that food safety system requirements are robust.

The GFSI does not perform certification or accreditation activities.

The goals of the GFSI are:

  • Reduce food safety through equivalence and convergence between effective food safety management systems.
  • Manage costs in the global by eliminating redundancies and improving operational efficiency.
  • Develop food safety competencies and build capacity to create coherent and effective global food systems.
  • Providing a unique international platform for stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge and network.

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