It has already been five years since Mitch Chait, CEO and founder of Greenfence, and GFSI created a vision for the Global Markets Awards. In this vision, the awards would not only be a means for recognition for those who successfully led their companies on the path to safer food but would also be a way to stimulate more companies to further develop their food safety practices, to extend the reach of the GFSI approach and to grow the GFSI community. This is how the Global Markets Awards were born.
We at Greenfence are incredibly proud to have sponsored the Global Markets Awards since their start at the GFSI Conference in Houston. Since then, our sponsorship has made it possible for more than a dozen smaller companies to attend the annual GFSI Conference, from Pakistan, Japan, Ethiopia, Ukraine and France to China, Nigeria, the United States,Argentina and Mexico.
Attending the conference has been a great way for the winners to present their companies and their food safety journeys as a pathway to GFSI certification. In presentations, blogs and interviews, they have been sharing their good practices on food safety management systems, how they strengthened their food safety culture, and how each took on a leadership role to drive positive change in their companies and in their markets. At the same time, the winners had the opportunity to meet existing and new customers, CPOs, academics and service providers. They learned about the latest developments and took home knowledge and new insights to further strengthen their food safety systems and accelerate their journey toward food safety certification.
But above all, the Global Markets Awards have inspired many GFSI Conference attendees over the last five years by bringing to the fore a new generation of food safety leaders in emerging markets around the world.
While listening to the success stories of the Global Markets Awards winners, we learned more about the value of the Global Markets Programme. Most importantly, the programme has proven to be a passport to expand trade and commercial opportunities domestically and for exports for small- and medium-sized companies. This aligns with the mission of Greenfence to provide the food industry with a trusted, effective way throughout the global supply chain to identify authenticated customers and suppliers of products and services.
Five years ago, we could not have anticipated the success of the Awards. Year after year, more applications came in from around the world. The number, and more notably the quality, of applications grew exponentially. We were very pleased to see that many of the GFSI board member companies supported applications for the awards from their suppliers, seeing many end up winning the awards for excellent practices.
The Awards achieved exactly what we set out to achieve – and more. The winners became these fantastic ambassadors in their regions; there is a hub of Global Markets Programme users in Lahore, Pakistan, thanks to Kashif and Ashfaq, and, similarly, Sunday and Veronika have been working actively with other companies in Lagos, Nigeria.
Today, we are at an important turning point as we start a new era of the Global Markets Programme. We are eager to see how this will have an even bigger impact on the industry and for safe food for consumers everywhere.
Happy Anniversary Global Markets Awards, and a big ‘Thank You’ to all winners for taking up the reins of leadership and inspiring us with the stories of your food safety journeys!
This blog was written and contributed by:
SVP Global Brands