The 16th Global Food Safety Conference proved to be record breaking on several dimensions. The annual event welcomed 1,200 delegates from 54 countries to Houston, Texas, meaning more people than ever before had the opportunity to learn from the best and explore new ways to drive positive business changes.

Under the theme Leadership for Growth, this industry-leading event also provided delegates with unparalleled opportunities to expand their personal networks and learn more about the role of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) in helping secure safe food for consumers, everywhere. 

The food industry held its own version of a “G30” summit as governments from 30 countries converged before the conference to discuss vital food safety topics and continued pursuit of international harmonisation.

During the jam-packed conference programme, the attendees heard from some of the world’s top CEO’s from major food companies regarding how they are driving change in their respective company’s food safety programmes and culture.

Trust and transparency were recurring themes, and ones the audience heard loud and clear are integrally tied to food safety. And that certain challenges the industry is facing like visibility, listeria control, regulatory implementation such as FSMA, will not go away, and that is because food safety is not a static issue.

Competency and credibility—of auditors and the credence of their assessments—was a hot topic and conference presenters revealed the immense work that GFSI and the newly named CPO’s –Certification Programme Owners—are doing to elevate and calibrate auditor performance to ensure consistency and confidence of the GFSI Programme.

The call to action for those who attended was resounding—we must partner to grow. Collaboration is key to succeeding in this new era of a growing globalized supply chain, demand for more information, increased regulation and greater liability exposure than ever before.

Why such record setting attendance? Conference goers would attest this was a record shattering content on some of the most dynamic topics impacting food safety in decades. As the conference came to a close, attendees left with these keys: Collaborate to build trust and transparency, by leveraging technology and relationships. That collaboration occurs between trading companies, with public and private partnerships and with consumers to advance growth and ensure safe food for consumers everywhere.

See some of the exciting announcements made at the two press conferences:

Catch up on other news from the conference week:

Access the 2018 Global Food Safety Conference Executive Summary. See the Photo Gallery here.

See the #GFSi17 Conversation via Storify or Twitter 

Thank you to all involved in GFSI and the Global Food Safety Conference for making this 16th edition the most successful one yet! 

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