Last month we saw over 1,000 professionals attend the Global Food Safety Conference in Berlin to discuss trends and new technologies, anticipating the future of food safety.
Behind the scenes, right before the event happened, we were working on some groundbreaking projects that truly launch GFSI as a public-private partnership - the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and GFSI established a strategic partnership for large-scale Food safety capacity building programs. In addition, the GFSI Board met with representatives from 15 governments and several intergovernmental organizations, discussing the opportunity for certifications from GFSI recognized schemes be considered in their risk assessments.
The GFSI board meeting conversations followed the same visionary tone as we set our priorities for the coming year, which I am now glad to share with you.
I believe our priorities and deliverables will be addressing long-term challenges, making a positive impact on a global scale:
We will focus on food safety scheme assurance and harmonization, launching the 7th Edition of the landmark GFSI Guidance Document (V7), benchmarking new and existing schemes to V7, inserting the first stage of Program Integrity/Auditor Competence into V7, and engaging retailers to increase alignment with GFSI;
We will increase our thought leadership on food safety capability building by designing an overarching global plan that will include identifying priority countries, partners and KPIs. We will develop a playbook based on Global Markets Initiative and create strategies for China and the ASEAN region;
We will continue to establish government partnerships by developing a strategy on technical equivalence and getting started on more concrete work such as communicating the role of GFSI in FSMA compliance in the United States, supporting alignment of China HACCP to V7 and using GFSI to support convergence of EU standards.
There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am excited, and I am energized because all of you have chosen to be part of it.
I hope we are able to fuel your interest for joining us and being part of the efforts that will allow access to safe food to all. If you are already working with GFSI, roll up your sleeves and bring your ideas and insights to make it happen, if you are not, connect with us today and learn how you too can be part of the future of food safety.
This post was written and contributed by:
Chair of the GFSI Board of Directors
Vice President, Corporate Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory, Cargill, Inc., USA