Beijing has just hosted the fifth edition of the GFSI China Focus Day, which gathered 395 delegates from around China, as well as other countries including Japan, France and the USA. The Focus Day, endorsed by key Chinese national agencies - CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) and CNCA (China Certification and Accreditation Administration) - benefited from the engagement of leading local and global companies operating in the food sector.
One after the other, 44 speakers took the stage to lend their voice to food safety collaboration and contribute their own best practices and lessons learned.
The programme spanned priority issues for the industry and mirrored the priorities set for GFSI: continuous improvement in food safety standards, audits and capability building, ultimately enabling mutual recognition within the industry and improving consumer trust in the safety of food they serve their families on a daily basis.
The China Food Safety Initiative (CFSI) leadership team also took the stage to present the GFSI journey in China, culminating in the China Food Safety Initiative. The CFSI Local Group leaders walked the audience through the taskforces of CFSI, their objectives and their overall vision for GFSI in China.
These leaders received awards for their achievements and dedication to food safety, presented by GFSI Board Members who sincerely thanked each and every one of them for their contributions in developing CFSI and the six taskforces. This was an emotional moment in the room with an overriding sense of pride and accomplishment around this group of individuals whose passion and joint efforts for improving food safety have made a real difference.
The Focus Day speaker line-up testified to the continued private sector commitment, with national executives of international companies like Cargill, Danone, Walmart, McDonalds, Aeon, Metro, Mars, Auchan and more onsite, as well as the Chinese companies COFCO, China Resources Vanguard Co., Ltd and New Hope Liuhe. GFSI Board members also convened in testimony to the importance of local efforts to global strategy.
This collective powerhouse assembled under the conviction that everyone has a right to safe food, and that food safety is a shared responsibility.
According to delegate feedback, the main reasons for attending the Focus Day were the thematics and knowledge-sharing, as well as getting to know GFSI better and the opportunity to grow their network.
In fact, they requested more such GFSI events, as well as dedicated trainings on food safety. As GFSI launches a wide-scale capability building programme with UNIDO, the context seems prime and the demand already high.
Delegates also showed interest in hearing more from upstream business, including farming and slaughtering enterprises, and obtaining further guidance on leveraging technology for food safety.
In attendance this year were representatives from sectors spanning the industry, including manufacturers, certification bodies, service providers, retailers, wholesalers, food service, academia, NGOs, government administration and media.
In fact, this China Focus Day enjoyed record support from national government in addition to the broad engagement from the private sector. Significant breakthroughs, notably thanks to recent partnerships launched with the CNCA, CNHFA and UNIDO in China have set the stage for GFSI to accelerate growth via its China Food Safety Initiative (CFSI) branch, making it the place to address food safety challenges on the ground in the China context.
Access the full GFSI Focus Day China Report
Sincere thanks to our partners and sponsors who made this event possible.
Read the Press Release - The Food Industry in China Steps Up to Food Safety Challenges With GFSI