Recently food-related illnesses have been highlighting the news, eroding the trust of many consumers throughout the nation and world. However, the Global Food Safety Initiative has been working to rectify this mishaps by developing a certification process for producers. Read more about this process in the excerpt below:
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was formed in 2000 amidst a profusion of food safety issues that were plaguing the globe. At the turn of the century the big concern was erosion of consumer trust and not just in the food industry and among retailers. There was a waning confidence in government and fears of government oversight so a group of European retailers came together to tackle the problem and develop a structure around food safety management systems which they could drive down through their supply chains to re-establish confidence in the food they were bringing to the customer. That was the genesis of GFSI and over the years it has grown from its core of European retailers becoming more than just a benchmarking organisation to include many different parts of the supply chain such as manufacturers, retailers, food services, agriculture and food processing alongside meat and poultry companies who have joined. “It’s truly a global consortium of companies that covers the entire supply chain from the farm and origination, all the way through to distribution and directly to the consumer,” explains Mike Robach, Chair of the GFSI’s Board of Directors.
Robach has recently presided over the organisation’s annual conference. This year, GFSI landed in Tokyo where over 1,200 food industry leaders from 50+ countries were in attendance for what has become the meeting place for decision-makers across the food supply chain from both private and public sectors alike. Participants share knowledge, strengthen their networks, showcase their learnings and do business. “Delegates are challenged through thought-provoking talks from a wide range of hand-picked speakers – renowned experts and academics, CEOs from the likes of AEON, Costco, McDonald’s Japan, DeVries Global and the UK Food Safety Agency, public authorities, industry leaders, innovators and grassroots players,” adds Robach who is keen for audiences to gain insight into the latest advances in the science, technology and collaborative tools being leveraged for food safety around the world. “If you are involved in the food industry in any way, chances are you have a role in keeping food safe. Whether your operations are producing, manufacturing, transporting, storing or selling food – or supporting those who do – you play a vital role in protecting the consumer, from farm to fork.”