Since its inception in 2000, GFSI has brought together stakeholders representing the global food industry to collaborate on advancing food safety.
An essential part of that goal is to create a common and widely-accepted understanding of what constitutes a good food safety system. That is precisely what GFSI's Benchmarking Requirements, previously known as the GFSI Guidance Document, have done. This tool has become the world's most widely accepted benchmark document for food safety requirements.
Once successfully benchmarked against GFSI's Benchmarking Requirements, food safety certification programmes (CPOs) achieve GFSI recognition, which lends a nameplate authority to these certifications and acts as a food safety passport of sorts throughout the global marketplace.
The term "GFSI Certification" is often used in reference to certification to a GFSI-recognised certification programme. GFSI is not a Certification Programme in itself, neither does it carry out any accreditation or certification activities. Learn more about GFSI & Certification.
What are GFSI-recognised Certification Programmes?
Over the past 16 years, GFSI-recognised schemes – now GFSI-recognised certification programmes - have become globally established and widely required in global supply chains. Seen as a stamp of approval and a signal of strong food safety standards, certification to a GFSI-recognised certification programme has come to be required by many buying companies as a prerequisite to doing business.
The CPOs set food safety standards and develop requirements for management systems while orchestrating the certification of food operations. By undergoing benchmarking with GFSI and achieving GFSI recognition, CPOs signal a strong commitment to raising the bar across the global food supply while driving harmonisation for the successful production and trade of safe food around the world. Consult and contact GFSI-recognised CPOs.
What are Certification Bodies?
The third party companies that provide certification services are known as Certification Bodies (CBs). They are key stakeholders to GFSI and active participants, both in the professional network as well as in the GFSI Technical Working Groups. The Certification Bodies are authorised to audit against recognised CPOs through a formal agreement with the certification programme owner (CPO) combined with the scope of their accreditation.
What are Accreditation Bodies?
Accreditation Bodies (ABs) are not-for-profit organisations, either government owned or under agreement with government, charged with ensuring that participating Certification Bodies in the country are subject to oversight by an authoritative body. Accreditation Bodies may not be high profile in each country but they play a key role in the accredited certification process and ensuring international consistency in conformity assessment.