The increasing frequency and severity of food safety incidents across the globe certainly tests consumer confidence in the food supply chain. How do producers, processors, distributors, and retailers ensure that the food they handle is safe for consumers?
In response to a number of food safety scares, a group of international retailers created the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) whose central aim has been “Safe Food for Consumers Everywhere.” GFSI, who now represents over 70% of food retail revenue worldwide, is committed to benchmarking food safety management schemes in order to enhance food safety and restore consumer confidence. Equally important, GFSI promotes common acceptance of GFSI recognized standards by retailers worldwide in order to improve the cost efficiency of food safety audits for food suppliers.
History of the Global Food Safety Initiative
In 2000, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was set up to align worldwide food safety standards in an effort to increase transparency and efficiency in the supply chain. With harmonized standards, organizations would have an easier time delivering safe food to customers, and cut costs by implementing best practices and relying on third party audits. With the set of GFSI’s benchmarked standards, a retail quality manager could accept a certified supplier’s food without the need for numerous audits.
There are a variety of benchmarked – or accepted – GFSI standards, which we introduce you to below. We have also included some information about other food safety standards we provide services for. Our goal is to arm you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a standard and a consultant.