More than ever, the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements take food safety practices to the next level in V7, by including new requirements to fight food fraud, to incorporate unannounced audits and overall to increase transparency and objectivity in the benchmarking process. Moreover, GFSI is expanding its inclusive farm-to-fork approach by incorporating the new scope of the supply chain Food Brokers and Agents in this edition.
Since its inception in 2000, GFSI has evolved to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry. In a context of advancing science, new regulations and global trade, there is a need for more stringent requirements, raising the bar to ensure food is safe for consumers, no matter where in the world they live. The 7th version of GFSI’s Benchmarking Requirements reflects this strong commitment to the industry and the consumer in line with the mission of The Consumer Goods Forum, which powers GFSI, to support Better Lives through Better Business.
The publication also delivers on GFSI’s mission to provide continuous improvement in food safety management systems so as to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. The Benchmarking Requirements are the key way GFSI goes about achieving this, by setting the bar for good food safety practices which are then adopted by the industry at large.
Food Safety Only through Collaboration
“GFSI gathers the industry to achieve what no one company – or country – could do alone. With food traded globally, we need to work together to ensure one safe food supply,” said Mike Robach, Chairman of the GFSI Board of Directors. “That is why GFSI’s Benchmarking Requirements are a spectacularly collaborative effort and really reflect years of expertise from industry experts and food scientists. On behalf of GFSI, I would like to thank the many stakeholders and members who have provided input and participated in public consultations.”
This collective expertise is increasingly of interest to national governments and their food safety agencies, particularly thanks to the improved efficiency enabled by the GFSI approach, as shown by the rise in acceptance of third-party certification.
Once successfully benchmarked, food safety schemes (now renamed certification programs) are “recognized” by GFSI which lends a nameplate authority to any operation obtaining certification from one these schemes. Most importantly, GFSI-recognized schemes operate as a kind of food safety passport by creating a common understanding and mutual trust in the supply chain. Operations achieving certification with this GFSI stamp of approval can do business with local and international food companies requiring stringent standards and practices. This harmonization of food safety across borders and barriers is one of the main achievements of GFSI and a key ongoing effort.
Designed for private food safety certification programs, the benchmarking requirements are available for download on www.myGFSI.com for programs that wish to renew their recognition as well as new programs applying for GFSI benchmarking for the first time. Companies interested in certification are invited to consult the certification program list on the GFSI website and contact the one which best its their operations.