28 November 2018, Paris France – Amidst ASEAN and APEC meetings, November also saw industry and government leaders from China and abroad descend on Shanghai, seeking to harness the benefits of the “GFSI approach”. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) hosted its 7th China Focus Day on 6 November, drawing 360 food industry stakeholders to explore how implementing GFSI tools and principles can pave the way toward safer food and better business.
Implementation was top of mind throughout the packed Focus Day programme, where it was abundantly clear that GFSI is not a talk shop. Speakers and delegates alike illustrated action for improved food safety throughout the supply chain, sharing concrete case studies and gleaning best practice to take home and implement in their own operations.
GFSI as a “Food Safety Passport” in a Changing World
The food industry is experiencing rapid and disruptive change, and speakers at the GFSI China Focus Day revealed just how high the stakes are in their region. This was perhaps best summed up by Zaotian WAN, Vice President of COFCO and GFSI Board Member: “From a domestic perspective, China is shifting from high-speed growth to a new stage of high-quality development. From an international perspective, under the "One Belt and One Road" initiative, a new pattern of comprehensive cooperation and openness is taking shape, which is an important opportunity for the international development of China's food industry”.
Speakers painted the current economic background as a heightened opportunity for the industry to leverage GFSI to raise consumer trust in the safety of food purchased locally and around the world. They also demonstrated how GFSI helps simplify international trade and compliance exercises, build food safety capabilities and strengthen the supply chain.
GFSI Knowledge Sharing at Work on Local and Global Levels
The Focus Day also saw extensive participation from the public sector, who have actively joined GFSI-lead harmonisation and collaboration for food safety beyond borders and barriers. Now more than ever, the private and public sectors are both looking to GFSI as a partner of choice in this global effort for safe food for consumers everywhere.
The one-day event revealed the year-round work lead by the GFSI China Local Group, who in addition to organising the annual Focus Day, work tirelessly to drive food safety advancements throughout the year as their latest progress report demonstrates. Indeed, the China Local Group is a success story for GFSI’s modus operandi, which prioritises collaboration at both the global and local levels. While six countries were represented at the China Focus Day, Chinese delegates still held the majority. GFSI is holding its next annual GFSI Conference on 25th to 28th February 2019 in Nice, France and its next China Focus Day on 16 October 2019 in Chengdu, China.
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About the Global Food Safety Initiative
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. www.mygfsi.com