By: Juliana Canale
Food Industry Safety, Compliance & Regulatory Solutions Specialist at NJMEP- Food Vertical Team, Cornell Food Science Alumna & CNJIFT Secretary
Professional Certifications: HACCP, Seafood HACCP, LI PCQI, LI FSVP, SQF, & ServSafe Certified
Global Food Safety Initiative, (GFSI) is a food and beverage widely accepted acronym for food safety standards. Examples of recognized certification programs for GFSI that are common are FSSC2220, SQF, BRC etc. For those who aren’t familiar, the term below offers some background information:
The GFSI brings together key actors of the food industry to collaboratively drive continuous improvement in food safety management systems around the world. With a vision of Safe food for consumers everywhere, food industry leaders created GFSI in 2000 to find collaborative solutions to collective concerns, notably to reduce food safety risks, audit duplication and costs while building trust throughout the supply chain. The GFSI community works on a volunteer basis and is composed of the world’s leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing, and food service companies, as well as international organizations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry. GFSI is powered by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network working to support Better Lives Through Better Business.
The GFSI Mission and Objectives are the following:
Provide continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide.
- Reduce food safety risks by delivering equivalence and convergence between effective food safety management systems
- Manage cost in the global food system by eliminating redundancy and improving operational efficiency
- Develop competencies and capacity building in food safety to create consistent and effective global food systems
- Provide a unique international stakeholder platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange and networking
GFSI isn’t only an important tool to leverage from a food safety perspective but it is also critical for business growth for a manufacturing company. In the mission statement there is a reference to “continuous improvement” which is a strong backbone of business growth and operations efficiency in any space but particularly for food and beverage manufacturing where every minute matters in a production factory.
GFSI also references “building trust through the supply chain”. This is where a business growth opportunity also is present since the supply chain is essential and all aspects of strengthening a supply chain are beneficial for growing a business. Adhering to a GFSI code will allow your manufacturing supply chain to be more effective and credible by adhering to an international standard that validates the food safety of the food and/or beverage manufacturer.
It is now also becoming “the standard” to do business with medium- larger scale companies since you are comparing “apples to apples” when looking at different vendors. Having everyone speak the same language is more efficient and effective to manage within a company’s network.
Business growth is key to survive in this new era of manufacturing and GFSI is a great tool to leverage that will provide business growth opportunities in addition to keeping food and beverage food safety management systems effective.
If you want to improve your current business practices around GFSI code adherence and audit preparation, please contact NJMEP Food Vertical Team by using the contact info below.
Food Vertical Team:
Juliana Canale, email@example.com Food Industry Safety, Compliance & Regulatory Solutions Specialist
Michael Marchetti, MMarchetti@NJMEP.ORG Food Sales Lead
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