GFSI: Continuous improvement of food safety management systems
GFSI provides a platform for collaboration between retailers, manufacturers and food service providers, food supply chain service providers, international organizations, academia and government agencies.
Key GFSI activities include establishing food safety requirements through a benchmarking process. It is anticipated that this process will lead to recognition of existing food safety systems and increase confidence, acceptance, and implementation of third-party certification 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 audit 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 schemes that lacked international certification and accreditation, leading to unparalleled audit results.
The GFSI was created to accomplish this by harmonizing food safety standards 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 regulations and allows the market flexibility and choice.
This benchmarking model is based on the GFSI Guide, a multi-stakeholder 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 improvement through the Guide, which is regularly updated with input from global industry to ensure that food safety management system requirements are robust.
The GFSI does not perform certification or accreditation activities.
The goals of the GFSI are:
- Reduce food safety risks through equivalence and convergence between effective food safety management systems.
- Manage costs in the global food system 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.