The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) brings together key actors of the food industry to collaboratively drive continuous improvement in food safety management systems around the world.
With a vision of Safe food for consumers everywhere, food industry leaders created GFSI in 2000 to find collaborative solutions to collective concerns, notably to reduce food safety risks, audit duplication and costs while building trust throughout the supply chain. The GFSI community works on a volunteer basis and is composed of the world's leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing and food service companies, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry.
GFSI is powered by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network working to support Better Lives Through Better Business.


GFSI Vision

Safe food for consumers, everywhere.

GFSI Mission

Provide continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide.

GFSI Objectives

  1. Reduce food safety risks by delivering equivalence and convergence between effective food safety management systems
  2. Manage cost in the global food system by eliminating redundancy and improving operational efficiency
  3. Develop competencies and capacity building in food safety to create consistent and effective global food systems
  4. Provide a unique international stakeholder platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange and networking

GFSI does:

  • Specify for the recognition of food safety certification programmes to defined requirements in its Benchmarking Requirements.
  • Bring together food safety experts within a global network.
  • Drive global change through multi-stakeholder projects on strategic issues (eg. auditor competence, regulatory affairs, food safety for small suppliers).

GFSI does not:

  • Make policy for retailers, manufacturers or food safety certification programme owners (CPOs)
  • Undertake any accreditation or certification activities
  • Own any food safety schemes or standards
  • Undertake training
  • Have any involvement outside the scope of food safety, such as animal welfare, the environment or ethical sourcing


During the 90s, there had been a series of high-profile international food safety crises including BSE, dioxin and listeria. Within the food industry there was a growing audit fatigue as retailers and brand manufacturers audited factories against their countless in-house standards, each developed in isolation and with no consideration of convergence. The results showed no consistency. Consumer and food industry confidence was low.
The CEOs of the world’s food retailers, working through their independent network CIES - The Food Business Forum, now the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), agreed to take collaborative action. In May 2000, the Global Food Safety Initiative, a non-profit foundation, was founded.

The Proposal

The main goal was laid out at the very beginning and remains a compelling message: once certified, recognised everywhere. GFSI chose the benchmarking approach as there were existing foundations. The British Retail Consortium had already published their first BRC food safety standard in 1998. The German and French retailers were starting to work together on the International Food Standard (IFS) and the Food Marketing Institute, the Trade Association for the North American retailers, were developing their Safe Quality Food (SQF) Standard.
The benchmarking model would credibly determine equivalency between food safety certification programmes, whilst leaving flexibility and choice in the marketplace.

GFSI Today

GFSI has developed to become more than a benchmarking organisation. Its collaborative approach brings together international food safety experts from the entire supply chain at Technical Working Group and Stakeholder meetings, conferences and regional events. They share knowledge and promote a harmonised approach with a shared vision of safe food for consumers everywhere.
Strategic direction for GFSI is provided by an industry-driven GFSI Board of Directors from retailers, manufacturers and food service operators. The daily management of GFSI is undertaken by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members.

How to get involved with GFSI

There are several ways you can find out more about GFSI and join our global stakeholder platform for networking, knowledge exchange and sharing of best food safety practices and information.

Please note that GFSI does not have a 'membership' system as such; we are an open forum for collaboration comprised of various stakeholders associated with the food supply chain. GFSI is however managed by an international trade association called The Consumer Goods Forum of which your company can become a member. Please go to the CGF website that will provide more information on membership and its benefits which includes discounts to the Global Food Safety Conference and other events which could be of interest to your company.