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The Benchmark Committee

Introduction

A Benchmark Committee is a committee, which is formed to carry out a benchmarking process for a scheme that has applied to the GFSI for formal recognition. A Benchmark Committee will be formed for each accepted application following the decision by the GFSI Executive Director to proceed with the application. The Committee membership will be determined by the GFSI Executive Director having taken advice from an appointed GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader.

The Benchmark Committee shall be made up of suitably qualified persons or organisations that are independent, impartial and technically competent from organisations such as retailers and manufacturers and other appropriate experts.

The Benchmark Committee shall undertake its duties in accordance with the Terms of Reference (GFSI Guidance Document Part I Annex 2 - GFSI Benchmark Committee Terms of Reference).

Membership

Upon agreement by GFSI to benchmark an applicant scheme, the GFSI Executive Director shall appoint a GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader from a cohort of independent technical experts, who have undergone a selection process and who meet the criteria specified in Annex 2 - GFSI Benchmark Committee Terms of Reference.

The GFSI Executive Director shall appoint a GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader for each scheme application.

The GFSI Executive Director shall appoint a GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader for the management of the desk review and the benchmark committee review process. The name of the GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader shall be made known to the scheme owner upon confirmation of the appointment.

Benchmark Committee Membership- New Applicant Schemes
The GFSI Executive Director shall invite technical experts to become members of the Benchmark Committee. The selection of the Committee members shall ensure that the following structure is achieved prior to any work being undertaken on the Assessment Matrix and any supporting documentation:
  • GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader,
  • GFSI representative – Executive Director,
  • 5 representatives of retailers, suppliers or food service companies, who have knowledge and expertise in the application of GFSI recognised schemes (there shall be at least one retailer and one supplier within this group),
  • 1 Accreditation Body representative (an Accreditation Body that is a member of the IAF and accredits Certification Bodies with a scope for a GFSI recognised scheme-optional),
  • 1 GFSI Board member,
  • 1 GFSI Advisory Council member (observer).
The retailer, supplier and food service company representatives shall not be committed users of the scheme being considered for recognition.

Benchmark Committee Membership -Schemes Seeking Re-benchmarking or Extensions to Scope of Recognition
The GFSI Executive Director and the appointed GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader shall invite technical experts to become members of the Benchmark Committee. The selection of Committee members shall ensure that the following structure is achieved prior to any work being undertaken on the Assessment Matrix and any supporting documentation:
  • GFSI Benchmark Committee Leader,
  • GFSI representative – Executive Director,
  • 1 retailer/food service company representative with knowledge and expertise in the application of GFSI recognised schemes,
  • 1 supplier representative, who has knowledge and expertise in the application of GFSI recognised schemes.
The retailer, supplier and food service company representatives shall not be committed users of the scheme being considered for recognition.

Member Selection

The selection of a Benchmark Committee shall be in accordance with the procedures specified in the GFSI Guidance Document Part I Annex 2 - GFSI Benchmark Committee Terms of Reference. Each member of the Committee shall meet the credentials defined by the GFSI and act in a professional manner at all times as per the Terms of Reference.

GFSI shall hold a Register of Benchmark Committee Members, who may be invited to become a member of a GFSI Benchmark Committee.

The GFSI Executive Director shall have the discretion to remove and replace a member of a Benchmark Committee at any time if deemed necessary. It is also at the discretion of the GFSI Executive Director to remove an individual from the Register of Benchmark Committee Members.

The GFSI Executive Director has the responsibility to investigate any malpractice or alleged malpractice, which may arise during the benchmarking process and take appropriate action.
 
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