Houston, 28 February - The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) today held a press conference to launch the 16th Global Food Safety Conference, announce the release of a new edition of GFSI’s flagship Benchmarking Requirements and to share groundbreaking strides in public-private collaboration with a G30 of food safety.
The industry’s top global food safety event has brought together 1,150 food industry representatives from 56 countries in Houston, Texas, where 70 experts and thought leaders will take the stage over the coming days to share insights on Leadership for Growth. CEOs of food industry heavy-weights will be joined by government representatives and regulators from several countries, practitioners from across the supply chain and even an astronaut. Peter Begg, Senior Director, Global Quality Programs, Mondelez International & Chair of the Global Food Safety Conference committee, shared insights as to what is in store for delegates and how the programme was shaped in line with the ever-changing industry and regulatory landscape.
Notably announced at the press conference was a series of meetings hosted by GFSI yesterday which gathered over 100 representatives from more than 20 countries and multilaterals organisations to discuss better collaboration for global public health outcomes. Countries such as Japan, China, Mexico, Canada, the UK and the United States of America had a strong presence at this second edition of the meetings, sending delegations from their food safety agencies. Multilateral organisations including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) also participated in the meetings.
“Going forward, the hope is for this growing dialogue to create first-of-its kind understandings between world governments and business for a mutually beneficial results for consumers, industry and regulators” said Mike Robach, Vice President, Corporate Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory for Cargill, Inc. USA & Chair of the GFSI Board of Directors.
“GFSI is an example of reciprocity on a global scale. By investing in food safety together, sharing knowledge and harmonising systems, we can go beyond borders and barriers to ensure one safe global food supply,” commented Herman Diricks, Co-Chair of the G2B meetings. “We are excited to be participating in this groundbreaking collaboration with global food leaders, for the benefit of all.”
GFSI also announced a key breakthrough with the highly-anticipated publication of the Benchmarking Requirements V7, the world’s most widely accepted benchmarking criteria which acts as a “food safety passport” across global supply chains, facilitating international trade and mutual trust in the level of safety systems in place. On behalf of GFSI, Mike Robach thanked the many stakeholders who have been involved in the review process and explained how the document triggers continuous improvement throughout supply chains. for the benefit of consumers around the globe.
Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, shared how her company is leveraging GFSI for success, saying that GFSI-benchmarked certifications are a critical component of their food safety management program as they provide third-party assurance that high quality standards are in place and meet internationally recognised standards. Irene announced that Mondelēz has made a commitment to have 100% of their suppliers attain one of the GFSI benchmarked certifications by the end of 2017. By the end of 2016, 94% of their suppliers had already met this requirement. GFSI is powered by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and Irene sits on the CGF Board of Directors, where, along with Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, she represents GFSI to over 50 other CEOs of leading retail and manufacturing companies.