How is the Global Food Safety Initiative adding value to the Supply Chain ?
Under the umbrella of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), 7 major retailers have come to a common acceptance of four GFSI benchmarked food safety schemes.
Retailers accept certificates based on standards in order to be able to make an assessment of their suppliers of private-label products and fresh products and meat, to ensure that production is carried out in a safe manner. There are many of these standards and suppliers with many customers may be audited many times per year, at a high cost and with little added benefit.
The GFSI Guidance Document Version 5 (released September 2007), contains commonly agreed criteria for food safety standards, against which any food or farm assurance standard can be benchmarked. GFSI does not undertake any accreditation or certification activities.
The benchmarking work undertaken by the standard owners and other key stakeholders on four food safety schemes (BRC, IFS, Dutch HACCP and SQF) has now reached a point of convergence. Each scheme has now aligned itself with common criteria defined by food safety experts from the food business, with the objective of making food manufacture as safe as possible. As a result, this will also drive cost efficiency in the supply chain and reduce the duplication of audits.
The GFSI vision of ‘once certified, accepted everywhere’ has now become a reality. Carrefour, Tesco, Metro, Migros, Ahold, Wal-Mart and Delhaize have agreed to reduce duplication in the supply chain through the common acceptance of any of the four GFSI benchmarked schemes.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) co-ordinated by CIES – The Food Business Forum, was launched in May 2000. The GFSI Foundation Board, a retailer-driven group, with manufacturer advisory members, provides the strategic direction and oversees the daily management. Membership of the Board is by invitation only.
The GFSI Technical Committee was formed in September 2006 and is composed of retailers, manufacturers, standard owners, certification bodies, accreditation bodies, industry association and other technical experts. It provides technical expertise and advice for the GFSI Board and replaces the previous GFSI retailer-only Task Force. Membership of the Technical Committee is by invitation only.
GFSI Stakeholders are also invited to participate in the decision-making process of GFSI through annual meetings and regular exchange of information. Stakeholders are any interested party that would like to have a voice within the GFSI structure.
For more information about GFSI: www.ciesnet.com