The 1st July meeting started with a progress update from the Governance Sub-Committee on the implementation of GFSI’s Code of Ethical Conduct. Erica noted that the first step involved GFSI appointing ambassadors in all GFSI groups and committees to ensure that members abided by the Code and a dedicated email address would be established to streamline communications related to potential breaches. She also noted that the Governance Sub-Committee will continue to oversee the process.
Erica then noted that applications for new Steering Committee members, per the communication in June, remains open and she has received a lot of feedback from potential candidates, which is great to see.
Time was then devoted to the important updates from the Technical Sub-Committee, who had been reviewing the GFSI measures in place to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on GFSI recognition and certification. The Committee members discussed the WHO data on the pandemic at the regional level and the data collected each quarter from CPOs on the number of issued/extended/expired certificates. It was agreed that the Technical Sub-Committee will return to the Steering Committee with a proposed amendment to only apply its COVID-19 position in regions where data demonstrate
disruptions to auditing schedules. But, for now, GFSI would maintain its COVID-19 position.
The conversation then moved to the creation of the Science & Technology Advisory Group (STAG) and the appointment of David Crean as its Chair. David is now mandated to form the STAG permanent group, with a target to issue their first foresight report to the GFSI Steering Committee by the end of the year. More on the formation of the group and David’s appointment can be read here.
The Committee members were then provided an update on GFSI’s work on public-private partnerships. They were informed about the outcomes of the last Codex Commission on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems and how GFSI and the CGF are engaging in the United Nations Food System Summit. The group then discussed future plans for the Government-to-Business work and progress on GFSI’s data sharing project, whereby a framework for the collaboration between the regulators and the certificate platform the GFSI will be establishing is currently under development.
Other topics that were discussed included the development of a timeline for the new capability building framework, initial thoughts on plans for the GFSI Conference 2022, participating in Local Groups and the status of CPOs in the benchmarking process. The next meeting will take place in September 2021.