The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) will host 200 industry and government leaders at dedicated briefings in Washington D.C. next week. As new laws are implemented within the Federal Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the public and private sectors will convene to discuss how GFSI can be leveraged by both government and industry for FSMA implementation, international business and above all, public health.
GFSI as Partner for FSMA Implementation and Harmonization
American and foreign entities are working to ensure they comply with the new requirements. In its role as global partner for collaboration on food safety and business efficiency, GFSI brings together the worldwide food network around a common standard, and can be leveraged to support implementation of new food compliance requirements, the organization said in a news release.
“Addressing food safety as a shared responsibility, GFSI has gathered the collective best practices of leading companies for the past sixteen years and amalgamated this knowledge into a common understanding of fundamental food safety requirements, recognized internationally,” said the release.
Companies participating in the discussions are Cargill, Wegmans, McDonald’s, Walmart, The Coca-Cola Company, Amazon, Dole, Danone, and Mondelēz, among others. They will be joined by policymakers from the U.S. and Canadian governments, as well as other institutions.
Streamlining Food Safety Assurance
By benchmarking and recognizing food safety schemes, GFSI “drives harmonization and continuous improvement in the delivery of safe food to consumers,” the organization stated. “This consensus on food safety management requirements translates into heightened transparency, mutual trust and streamlined compliance processes, such as third-party certification.”
The Washington, D.C. GFSI briefings, taking place on November 15, will enhance understanding of the role GFSI has played in the marketplace. Food businesses have implemented strong food-safety management practices and obtained certification to a GFSI-recognized protocol are in a better position to comply with FSMA requirements. Similarly, companies seeking FSMA compliance and access to local, regional and global value chains benefit from being part of the GFSI network.
“Science guides industry and policymakers to the same place as we work towards our common objective of ensuring a safe food supply for consumers,” commented Mike Robach, chair of the GFSI Board of Directors. "Public-private dialogue and collaboration is paramount to achieving this goal.”