The GFSI Board of Directors is meeting this week in Houston just ahead of the 16th Global Food Safety Conference. We are delighted to share a blog post from one of GFSI's Board members - Amazon's Carletta Ooton.
Mention Amazon.com and most people probably think about online shopping, Kindle e-readers, or maybe original TV shows and movies like Manchester By the Sea. Food safety is likely very far down the list.
But in fact, food safety is a focal point for Amazon and something we manage at scale, across multiple businesses and geographies.
It comes into play with Amazon Fresh, our take on grocery shopping that is now serving customers in many cities in the United States and United Kingdom. Additionally, our magic-like Prime Now service offers 1- and 2-hour delivery of shelf stable, chilled, and frozen packaged food as well as restaurant take-out delivery in dozens of cities around the globe. Amazon Go was our latest innovative concept unveiled. It is our first brick and mortar food store and it has no check out lines. And of course, we continue to offer traditional grocery items, supplements, and pet food through our website.
At Amazon, we obsess over customers. We build every service and product starting with the customer and work backwards. Inherent in that is customers’ safety and the expectation to receive a superior product; therefore, food safety is a matter of customer trust. Over the long term, we believe we earn customers’ trust by providing them food that meets or exceeds quality and safety expectations, all of the time.
We take proactive steps to protect customers from unsafe food items, and we hold our suppliers to the same standards. That’s why we recognize GFSI’s benchmarked certifications. We recognize suppliers that have achieved those certifications, and know they lead to audit results that are accurate, unbiased, and based on food science. For certain suppliers that are not GFSI-certified, we perform an assessment to ensure compliance with our standards which are similar to GFSI benchmarked standards. At the scale of our operations, these individual assessments become a constraint for both the supplier and Amazon.
We see GFSI as an important part of our food safety program foundation. Amazon is proud to contribute to and promote GFSI’s mission where we operate around the globe.
I look forward to meeting with other food safety leaders at the GFSI meeting in Houston this week to advance the food safety agenda.
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