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GFSI Community Unanimously Commits to GFSI Mission:
Safe Food for People Everywhere.




PARIS, October 30, 2023 – The second meeting of 2023 of the GFSI Steering Committee took place in Vevey, Switzerland, chaired by Mark Fryling and Howard Popoola, with an agenda supported by Erica Sheward, Director Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the GFSI global team.

The three-day event focused on advancing The Race to the Top (RTTT) framework, the GFSI programme for transformational change, with a specific focus on improving GFSI’s impact on audit integrity, which remains a prevailing issue for all food business operators relying on GFSI recognised certification as part of their supply chain assurance.

In line with GFSI governance rules, a full summary of the meeting will be published in due course; however, the GFSI steering committee are keen to rapidly acknowledge their renewed commitment to only accepting GFSI-recognised certificates in their supply chains and their unwavering support for the essential work that GFSI delivers, uniformly expressed at this exceptional event.

The GFSI Steering Committee recognise that GFSI is on a journey of continuous improvement in line with the RTTT agenda and accepts this as a long-term plan. Part of the improvement process is to develop more rigorous governance, empowering GFSI to deliver its oversight of audit of integrity of GFSI recognised programmes.

GFSI Steering Committee Co-Chairs Mark Fryling and Howard Popoola said, “We would like to thank the GFSI team and our colleagues at Nestlé for hosting what the GFSI Steering Committee concluded was one of our best meetings yet. GFSI is a unique initiative with the power to harmonise food safety systems, support food safety capabilities and deliver trust and confidence in GFSI-recognised certification. The GFSI Steering Committee remain unanimously committed to the GFSI mission: safe food for people everywhere, putting consumer safety at the heart of everything we do.’






The Race to the Top (RTTT) Framework proposes a collaborative enhancement of the oversight of the GFSI ecosystem with the aim of improving trust, transparency and confidence in GFSI-recognised certification and audit outcomes. Additionally, GFSI is seeking to stay true to its core purpose as a benchmarking and harmonisation organisation responsible for the ‘what – not the ‘how’ – of food safety.

The first four fundamental features of the RTTT framework were shaped with the support of a broad range of GFSI stakeholders and GFSI Board member companies following an extensive consultation that focused on GFSI’s benchmarking and harmonisation activities.

Phase Two of the RTTT was launched in the Autumn 2020 and is focused on driving improvements in our capability-building tool, the GFSI Global Markets Programme.

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