HOUSTON — The Global Food Safety Initiative published the seventh version of the G.F.S.I. Guidance Document and changed the name to the G.F.S.I. Benchmarking Requirements, the group announced Feb. 28 during the opening of the Global Food Safety Conference taking place in Houston this week. New content within version 7 targets requirements to fight food fraud, to incorporate unannounced audits, and initiatives to increase transparency and objectivity in the benchmarking process.
The G.F.S.I. Benchmarking Requirements will be used by third-party certifiers to create what the group calls a food safety passport. Examples of third-party certifiers currently working within the system include FSSC 22000, SQF, BRC Global Standards, Global G.A.P. and others.
|Mike Robach, chairman of the G.F.S.I. board of directors and vice-president of food safety, quality and regulatory affairs for Cargill|
“G.F.S.I. gathers the industry to achieve what no one company — or country — could do alone,” said Mike Robach, chairman of the G.F.S.I. board of directors and vice-president of food safety, quality and regulatory affairs for Cargill, Minneapolis. “With food traded globally, we need to work together to ensure one safe food supply. That is why G.F.S.I.’s Benchmarking Requirements are a spectacularly collaborative effort and really reflect years of expertise from industry experts and food scientists.”
The way the G.F.S.I. process works is once successfully benchmarked, third-party certifiers are recognized by G.F.S.I., which lends a nameplate authority to any operation obtaining certification from one the certifiers. The G.F.S.I.-recognized programs operate as a kind of food safety passport, according to the group, by creating a common understanding and mutual trust in the supply chain.Operations achieving certification with the G.F.S.I. stamp of approval may do business with local and international food companies requiring stringent standards and practices. The harmonization of food safety across borders and barriers is one of the main achievements of G.F.S.I. and a key ongoing effort, the group said.