TOKYO, March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
- Global Food Safety Initiative reveals new Benchmarking Requirements, Version 7.2, covering the whole supply chain and focussing on improving auditor competency
- It's the latest initiative in GFSI's mission to advance food safety and encourage industry action
- Announced at the Global Food Safety Conference in Tokyo, the industry's annual rendezvous for the advancement of food safety globally
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) today announced the release of the latest version of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, a document outlining what makes a good food safety system and enabling the benchmarking of food safety certification programmes. Version 7.2 focusses on improving auditor competency and covering the entire supply chain, providing FMCG businesses with an outline of requirements for a robust food safety infrastructure and explaining the step-by-step process for applying for a GFSI-recognised certification programme. The announcement came at this year's Global Food Safety Conference, taking place in Tokyo on 5th-8th March. The latest version is the result of a year of work from a dedicated task force, consisting of representatives from GFSI-recognised Certification Programme Owners (CPOs), accreditation and certification bodies and the wider food industry, making it the strongest yet.
Over the last 18 years, the GFSI has brought together the most influential food industry stakeholders, encouraging them to collaborate on the advancement of food safety. The GFSI Benchmarking Requirements have been an essential part of that mission since the publication of the first version in 2001. The documents outline the requirements of what constitutes a good Food Safety System and the step-by-step process for CPOs to apply for to enrol in a GFSI-recognised certification programme. The latest version focusses on stricter auditor assessment and coverage of the full supply chain from farm to fork.
The GFSI Benchmarking Requirements are always evolving. They are continually kept updated, adapting to changes in industry and government, reflecting best practices across the board from individuals to institutions.
GFSI has also released an update to its Technical Equivalence documents, for public government-owned programmes. This now includes a formal published process and technical requirements aligned to the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.
The GFSI Auditor Exam
Version 7.2 introduces requirements for auditors of GFSI-recognised certification programmes to have passed an exam. The exam is based on the content of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements and is designed to assess competency across a range of skills. The exam questions cover both sector-specific technical skills, such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements and standard auditing skills such as sampling and evidence gathering.
Certification Programme Owners have nine months to translate into their programme's management processes and three years to assess all auditors.
This is a huge task. To mitigate against the scale of this undertaking, the benchmarking requirements include a mutual recognition of exam results between CPOs. This means auditors may only need to take the exam once. Assessing auditors will ensure a baseline knowledge for all auditors and thus increase further confidence in GFSI-recognised certification.
Covering the Whole Supply Chain - from Farm to Fork
In addition to the auditor exam, two new scopes of recognition were introduced in version 7.2 of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements:
- Catering (Scope G)
- Retail & Wholesale (Scope H)
With these latest additions, the GFSI scopes of recognition now cover the full supply chain from farm to fork.
Our ambition is that a certified chain of custody is possible all the way from primary production to the end consumer. Each link in the chain is strengthened by certified Food Safety Management Systems and good industry practice.
A Collaborative Effort
A key objective of GFSI is to provide a unique international stakeholder platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange and networking. The work undertaken by GFSI and the task force to produce the latest version of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements has also been a huge collaborative effort.
Marie-Claude Quentin, GFSI Senior Technical Manager, said: "I would like to thank everyone who participated in this effort. This latest version is certainly the strongest yet and will lay the foundation for future versions. We're extremely grateful to every member of the group who worked hard to pull this version together".
Latest version of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements v7.2 are now available to view and download online. For more information and to download a copy, please head to the Benchmarking section of the GFSI website.
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.
About The Consumer Goods Forum
The Consumer Goods Forum ("CGF") is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com .
For further information, please contact:
The Consumer Goods Forum
SOURCE Global Food Safety Initiative