The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Who Cares?

July 14th, 2008

If you read the news paper

If you read the news paper, watch television or surf the web, current events would suggest that we all should.

Seven year s ago during May 2000, a group of international retailer CEOs proposed a program that would focus on three key initiatives; The need to enhance food safety, the need to insure consumer protection and the need to strengthen consumer confidence.

The proposed program would set requirements for food safety schemes and improve cost efficiency throughout the food supply chain. Following their lead, CIES founded in 1953 as the International Committee of Food Retail Chains, and today known as CIES – The Food Business Forum developed its food safety programs to specifically help food safety stakeholders work together towards the following:

1. Decreasing food safety scares and risks
2. Providing better quality products for consumers
3. Enhancing transparency between all links in the food chain.

GFSI is coordinated by CIES today with the following mission and objectives:

The GFSI Mission:

Continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers .

The GFSI Objectives are to:

1. Foster convergence between food safety standards through maintaining a benchmarking process for food safety management schemes.
2. Improve cost efficiency throughout the food supply chain through the common acceptance of GFSI recognized standards by retailers around the world.
3. Provide a unique international stakeholder platform for networking, knowledge exchange and sharing of best food safety practices and information.

Although GFSI began as an international standard, it laid the groundwork for many future initiatives in food safety and other areas of safety in practice today such as the FMI SQF program, and has been adopted by major retailers throughout the world such as WAL-MART, TESCO, ROYAL-AHOLD, MCDONALDS, HORMEL FOODS and others. To learn more about this important initiatives continuing development please visit www.ciesnet.com.

We look forward to your comments.

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