Global Food Safety Initiative

GFSI: The Global Food Safety Initiative

GFSI compliant schemes for food safety underlie the majority of recognised standards, worldwide, that have been designed to bolster consumer confidence in the industries and supply chains that move food from field to table. ML3 Technical are specialists in ensuring that companies can meet the varied requirements of all the current UK schemes that lead to GFSI compliant certification. We have developed a very thorough working knowledge of all the current schemes for farm production and food processing that meet the GFSI standard.
GFSI - Global Food Safety Initiative

From Food Crisis to Credible Food Safety

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is an industry led attempt to give credibility to a range of food safety management systems. It was brought into being through Belgian law in May 2000, following the high-profile food crises of the 90s that included: CJD, BSE, listeria and dioxin contamination. In the scramble to clean up their act the industry found itself swamped in a vast array of inconsistent and sometimes arbitrary standards: which did little to reassure customers and watchdogs!

Negotiations at CEO level amongst a worldwide collection of food retailers saw the emergence of an agreement to collaborate: the Global Food Safety Initiative emerged from this initiative as a non-profit foundation.

GFSI Vision Statement

Safe food for consumers everywhere.

GFSI Mission Statement

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

What GFSI Does for Food Safety:

Working within a clear set of objectives within the sphere of food supply chain safety:

  • Reduce food safety risks

  • Manage cost in the global food system

  • Develop competencies and build capacity in food safety

  • Provide a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration and networking

GFSI specifies the requirements and standards for recognition of food safety management schemes in its Guidance Document. The developing network of food safety expertise shares knowledge & best practice. The organisation aims to be the catalyst for a global change in strategies affecting food safety for small scale suppliers, auditors and regulators.

GFSI Limitations

The Global Food Safety Initiative is not a policy maker for stake-holders and does not act as an accreditation or certification body for food supply chain companies. Neither does it have an investment or interest in individual food safety standards or schemes. The GFSI works within the narrow remit for food SAFETY ONLY and stays out of animal welfare, environment or sourcing ethics.

An Ambitious Food Safety Goal

The overarching concept behind GFSI was that once a supplier was certified under one scheme, they were acceptable everywhere! The scheme’s founders built on foundations that were already coming into being in the UK (BRC food safety standard 1998); the EU (IFS - International Food Standard) and in North America (SQF - Safe Quality Food Standard). GFSI developed a benchmarking that strove for equivalence between diverse food safety management schemes without destroying choice.

How GFSI Benefits Producers Now

At regional events, meetings and conferences GFSI pulls together a wide range of people with expertise from the full extent of the food supply chain. It convenes technical working groups to share current knowledge and best practise that has been developed. The broad concept is to promote a more harmonised, consistent approach to food safety: ensuring safe, high quality food for all consumers.

The remit has now moved beyond simply benchmarking and into strategic thought leadership for GFSI.

Supported Food Safety Certifications

To achieve a globally recognised food safety certification against the GFSI framework a food supplier needs to be audited successfully against one of these GFSI accredited schemes by a recognised 3rd party:

  • * BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (Seventh Edition) CTA: BRC Global Standard Accreditation
  • * BRC-IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials Issue 5 CTA: BRC Global Standard Accreditation
  • * BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution CTA: BRC Global Standard Accreditation
  • * CanadaGAP (Canadian Horticultural Council On-Farm Food Safety Program)
  • * FSSC 22000 Food Products
  • * Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood - BAP Seafood Processing Standard
  • * GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Scheme Version 5, CTA: Achieve Global GAP Accreditation
  • * Global Red Meat Standard (GRMS) 4rth Edition 4.1
  • * IFS Food Version 6
  • * IFS Logistics Version 2.1
  • * IFS PACsecure, Version 1
  • * PrimusGFS Standard (v.2.1 - December 2011)
  • * Safe Quality Food Code 7th Edition Level 2

Let ML3 Technical help

ML3 Technical specalises in working to the GlobalGap Farm Assurance V5, BRC Global Standard for Food Safety and BRC Global Standard for Storage & Distribution.

GFSI isn’t a 'membership' organisation in the normal sense; it simply acts as an open collaboration of stakeholders in the food supply chain. Companies can however join the management body of the GFSI, The Consumer Goods Forum, if they wish to contribute to the development of food safety management systems.

For very small and micro businesses the SALSA standard may be more applicable.

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