WHAT IS GFSI?
In 2000, companies and consumers were being burdened with high profile recalls and increasing negative publicity about the food industry. Audits were being performed in increasing number by retailers or by third parties at their request. These audits lacked any international certification and thus incomparable audit results.
GFSI is a nonprofit foundation created under Belgian law with a mission to work on continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of food to consumers.
The GFSI objectives are to:
- Promote convergence between food safety standards through maintaining a benchmarking process for food safety management scheme.
- Improve cost efficiency throughout the food supply chain through the common acceptance of GFSI-recognized standards by retailers around the world.
- Provide a unique international stakeholder platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and sharing of best food safety practices and information.
The GFSI guidance document was developed for guidance and to set commonly agreed criteria as a framework to which food-safety-related schemes can be benchmarked. It is not a standard and GFSI is not involved in certification or accreditation activities.
Currently in its sixth edition, the guidance document provides the procedure for benchmarking of food safety management schemes, the key elements for the production of food within a conforming food safety management standard (i.e., good manufacturing practices, or an HACCP program or equivalent system), and guidance on the certification processes of a food safety management system.