Since helping the Global Markets Awards launch in 2017, Greenfence’s sponsorship has given many smaller companies unprecedented and unparalleled access to better food safety practices, networks and research, all with the goal of a stronger and safer food industry in mind. We’re incredibly happy to be back in this position for a third year.
As a company for whom it is an integral part of our mission to bring both consumers and suppliers further on the path to safer food worldwide, we see these awards as a uniquely engaging way to further the food industry through collaboration and well-earned recognition. The awards are a means to incentivise companies to prepare their organisations and obtain GFSI-recognised certification, accelerating the growth and reach of GFSI across the globe. Applications for the awards are assessed and judged by a highly qualified, independent selection committee. Composed of globally renowned food safety experts, the committee dedicates a huge amount of their time to ensure that companies excelling in their journey towards food safety certification are given the recognition they deserve.
The awards and the supporting process have matured significantly over the last three years. When we first started in 2017, the quality and quantity of applications was vastly different to what we see now. We saw only a few applications that fulfilled the stringent requirements, and from those only one winner emerged. Then in 2018, the application landscape had already begun to change: we saw many more entries and of a much higher calibre than the previous year. More candidates were applying with not only the base qualifications, but some truly outstanding work, resulting in the committee picking four excellent winners from various regions around the world.
Now, with the 2019 awards ahead of us, we once again have seen an increase in application numbers. We see the effects of the GFSI message being spread, acting as a catalyst for organisations to encourage others to act as well. Every year, more organisations are not only submitting applications, but, more importantly, starting the journey to be certified against one of the GFSI-recognised food safety programmes.
As mentioned earlier, the awards act not only as a means for recognition, but as a way to stimulate more companies to further develop their food safety practices. Greenfence proudly covers registration, travel and hotel expenses for the award winners, giving them the opportunity to attend the annual GFSI conference. Attending the conference is a great way to present their company and its food safety journey, while simultaneously meeting existing and new customers, CPOs, academics and service providers. It also helps the winning companies learn about the latest developments, taking home knowledge and new insights to further strengthen their food safety systems and accelerate the journey toward food safety certification.
2018 Latam winner Gabriel Barreda Ortega, of Asociaciones Agroindustriales Serranas S.A. de C.V. from Mexico says, “Traveling to Tokyo gave me the opportunity to network with other industry professionals, service providers, and other companies similar in size and operational complexity from countries such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Japan. Sharing our experiences, vision, plans and doubts allowed for great feedback and served to bring back ideas that will allow us to continue growing and improving”.
2018 Asian winner Kashif Elahi of Nuts and Legumes Co in Pakistan adds: “Receiving the award was a very proud moment and recognition of years of hard work for the whole team. It was an amazing achievement for a small company from Pakistan having competed in the world’s most populous continent … Another key benefit of attending the conference was being surrounded by exceptional individuals and companies with shared values”.
We are very pleased to see that many of the GFSI board member companies are supporting applications for the awards from their suppliers, which are often small and medium sized enterprises. These large manufacturers and retailers have successfully incorporated the Global Markets Programme in their supplier food safety capability building programs, often with tremendous results, seeing many of their suppliers winning the awards for excellent practice.
The committee is currently finalising their selection for the 2019 awards. The awards will be presented to the winners by Mike Robach, chair of GFSI, and Mitch Chait, CEO of Greenfence in the plenary session on ‘The Global Markets Programme in Action’ on Wednesday February 27th. I hope to see you all in Nice to celebrate the success of the winning companies.
This post was written and contributed by:
SVP Global Brands