A food safety management scheme is ‘recognised’ by GFSI when it meets internationally recognised minimum food safety requirements, developed by multi stakeholders, which are set out in the GFSI Guidance Document. GFSI is not a scheme in itself, and neither does it carry out any accreditation or certification activities.

Certification to a GFSI recognised scheme is achieved through a successful third party audit against any of the schemes listed as being recognised by GFSI. 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 the recognised scheme through a formal agreement with the Scheme Owner (SO) combined with the scope of their accreditation.

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.

Benefits of recognition

Why should a food safety scheme apply for GFSI recognition?

Food safety schemes that enter the GFSI benchmarking process will find they have entered a new and challenging way of working.

  • There will be multiple ongoing requirements from GFSI for how they manage their scheme and control their system.
  • The systematic reissue of the GFSI Guidance Document will mean they also need to review and revise their own scheme in the spirit of continuous improvement.
  • They may find that their own innovations have become recognised as good practice and that other schemes will be required to have them as well.

Benefits of GFSI recognition:

  • The GFSI benchmarking process provides an independent verification of their scheme.
  • Recognition of their scheme by the GFSI Board provides credibility that is backed by the food industries biggest buying companies.
  • The systematic revision of the GFSI Guidance Document by global stakeholders meant that it remains relevant to the needs of the industry, leading to continuous improvements in the schemes that apply for re-benchmarking after every revision.

The GFSI network provides them with an insight into what is relevant to their scheme development. This may range from implications for new legislation through to new approaches for helping auditors do their work.

How to choose my scheme

How to choose my scheme?

If you are seeking to achieve certification to a GFSI recognised scheme, in order to choose a scheme you will first need to find out which scope is applicable to your type of activity. When the scope is identified, the choice of GFSI recognised schemes will be limited to those that cover that specific scope and has successfully achieved GFSI recognition. Search here.

Once this is known, an operation will need to consult with the following stakeholders:

  1. Even though this goes against the principle of working within the GFSI framework of acceptance of any recognised scheme, key customers may have a preference for one scheme or another. Their response may make the decision process very simple.
  2. Technical service providers can provide good advice; ask about their experience of the various schemes.
  3. If the service provider is also a Certification Body, then what insights can they provide on the audit process?
  4. The scheme owners themselves will provide further information.
  5. Local regulatory enforcement authorities may also have a view.

GFSI Recognised Schemes

The below food safety schemes are assessed against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition to verify if they meet the requirements set by this document and, if successful, the scheme achieves formal recognition.

Through this benchmarking process, GFSI continues to provide a rigorous, scientifically based method that recognises competent food safety schemes.

It allows food businesses to select a food safety management system that is recognised by leading retailers and manufacturers internationally and has itself been exposed to a demanding peer assessment.

Below is an overview of the schemes that are currently recognised by GFSI. To use this functionality, click on the scope tab that relates to your activity. The GFSI recognised schemes covering your selection will be generated in the boxes beneath.

Portfolio Item
PrimusGFS Standard
PrimusGFS Standard (v2.1 – December 2011)
Portfolio Item
IFS PACsecure
IFS PACsecure, Version 1
Portfolio Item
Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood
Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood
Portfolio Item
GLOBALG.A.P.
GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Scheme version 4 and Produce Safety Standard version 4
Portfolio Item
FSSC 22000
FSSC 22000 - October 2011 Issue
Portfolio Item
Global Red Meat Standard
Global Red Meat Standard (GRMS) 4th Edition Version 4.1
Portfolio Item
CanadaGAP
CanadaGAP Scheme Version 6 Options B and C and Program Management Manual Version 3
Portfolio Item
SQF
SQF CODE 7TH EDITION LEVEL 2
Portfolio Item
BRC GLOBAL STANDARD
BRC GLOBAL STANDARD FOR FOOD SAFETY ISSUE 6
Portfolio Item
IFS Food Standard
IFS Food Standard Version 6

PrimusGFS Standard

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 20 February 2014

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Jill Hollingsworth - HC US

Benchmark Committee Members

Gillian Kelleher - VP of Food Safety and QA, WEGMANS FOOD MARKET

Gys Greeff - Supplier Quality Manager, Global Quality & Product Integrity, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY (Temporary replacement for Nancy Schouppe - Food Safety Manager, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY)

Scope Covered in Application
  • BI Farming of Plants
  • BII Farming of Grains and Pulses
  • EII Processing of Plant Perishable Products
  • EIII Processing of Animal and Plant Perishable Products (Mixed Products)
  • EIV Processing of Ambient Stable Products

BRC GLOBAL STANDARD

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 20 February 2014

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Vince Craig - Director, MEADOWBRAE TECHNICAL SERVICES Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Vanessa Broadnax - Brands Integrity Manager, ROYAL AHOLD

Gys Greef - Supplier Quality Manager, Global Quality & Product Integrity, COCA-COLA

Scope Covered in Application
  • D Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products
  • EI Processing of Animal Perishable Products
  • EII Processing of Plant Perishable Products
  • EIII Processing of Animal and Plant Perishable Products (Mixed Products)
  • EIV Processing of Ambient Stable Products
  • J Provision of Storage and Distribution Services
  • L Production of (Bio) Chemicals
  • M Production of Food Packaging

IFS PACsecure

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 20 December 2013

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Vince Craig - Director, MEADOWBRAE TECHNICAL SERVICES Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Cloeann Durham, Corporate QA Manager, The Coca-Cola Company
Monika Huber, Senior Associate Principal Packaging, Kraft
Lars G Karlsson, Global Expert Food Safety, Tetrapak
Elizabeth Wilkes, European Sustainability and Stakeholder Outreach, Asia Pulp and Paper
Petro Zapata, Quality Assurance, YUM! Brands

Scope Covered in Application
  • M Production of Food Packaging

CanadaGAP

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 23 January 2013

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Vince Craig - Director, MEADOWBRAE TECHNICAL SERVICES Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Michael Freeman - Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs, PEPSICO

Vanessa Broadnax - Corporate Brands integrity Manager - Fresh, AHOLD

Scope Covered in Application
  • BI Farming of Plants
  • D Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products

GLOBALG.A.P.

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 24 April 2013

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Steven Homer - BIOSPARTNERS

Benchmark Committee Members

Andrew Machon - Head of Quality Systems, METRO AG

Holly Mockus - Quality Systems Director, FONA INTERNATIONAL

Scope Covered in Application
  • BI Farming of Plants
  • D Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products

Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 16 May 2013

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Steven Homer - BIOSPARTNERS

Benchmark Committee Members

Aldin Hilbrands, Senior Manager, Product Safety & Consumer Affairs, ROYAL AHOLD

Karen Smedley - Supplier Quality Manager, COCA-COLA

Scope Covered in Application
  • EI Processing of Animal Perishable Products

FSSC 22000

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 22 February 2013

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Kevin Swoffer - Director, KPS Resources Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Andrew Clarke - Director of Certification & Audit, Food Safety, Maple Leaf

Michele Shewmaker - Senior Manager, Supplier Food Safety – Compliance, Wal-Mart

Scope Covered in Application
  • C Animal Conversion
  • D Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products
  • EI Processing of Animal Perishable Products
  • EII Processing of Plant Perishable Products
  • EIII Processing of Animal and Plant Perishable Products (Mixed Products)
  • EIV Processing of Ambient Stable Products
  • L Production of (Bio) Chemicals
  • M Production of Food Packaging

Global Red Meat Standard

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 7 February 2013

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Vince Craig - Director, MEADOWBRAE TECHNICAL SERVICES Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Jay Mahr, Quality Director, Food Safety and Quality Audits, CONAGRA FOODS

Nathalie Dhuyvetter, Quality Assurance Manager EMEA, Global Quality and Regulatory EMEA, STARBUCKS COFFEE

Scope Covered in Application
  • C Animal Conversion
  • EI Processing of Animal Perishable Products
  • EIII Processing of Animal and Plant Perishable Products (Mixed Products)

SQF

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 15 October 2012

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Kevin Swoffer - Director, KPS Resources Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Marc Cwikowski - Senior Manager, Food Safety and Supplier Quality, The Coca-Cola Company

Bizhan Pourkomailian - Senior Food Safety and Social Accountability Manager, McDonald's

Scope Covered in Application
  • AI Farming of Animals
  • BI Farming of Plants
  • C Animal Conversion
  • D Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products
  • EI Processing of Animal Perishable Products
  • EII Processing of Plant Perishable Products
  • EIII Processing of Animal and Plant Perishable Products (Mixed Products)
  • EIV Processing of Ambient Stable Products
  • F Production of Feed (SCOPE EXTENSION)
  • L Production of (Bio) Chemicals
  • M Production of Food Packaging
Scope excluded from current application until 10 certificates are provided to GFSI as per GFSI Guidance Document Part II 1.2.3. Will be re-submited as a scope extension at a later date.
  • AII AII Farming of Fish
  • BII Farming of Grains and Pulses

IFS Food Standard

DATE OF RECOGNITION: 21 September 2012

Benchmark Committee

Benchmark Committee Leader

Vince Craig - Director, MEADOWBRAE TECHNICAL SERVICES Ltd

Benchmark Committee Members

Andrew Sheard - Director Quality - Europe/Emerging Markets, CAMPBELL'S

Petro Zapata - Quality Insurance Manager, YUM! BRANDS

Scope Covered in Application
  • EI Processing of Animal Perishable Products
  • EII Processing of Plant Perishable Products
  • EIII Processing of Animal and Plant Perishable Products (Mixed Products)
  • EIV Processing of Ambient Stable Products
Scope Extension Covered in Application
  • C Animal Conversion
  • D Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products
  • J Provision of Storage and Distribution Services (SCOPE EXTENSION)
  • L Production of (Bio) Chemicals

More information on the following aspects of the benchmarking process can be found by following the links below: