For the sixth consecutive year, GFSI hosted the annual Government-to-Business (G2B) Meeting in 2021. The G2B Meeting is an extraordinarily unique platform, where governments and intergovernmental organisations come together with the private sector and discuss common opportunities to advance food safety around the globe. Since its genesis in 2016, the G2B Meeting has grown into an unparalleled global forum.
This year, the G2B Meeting was co-chaired by GFSI, Chile (ACHIPIA) and Germany (BVL). Over the course of the year, participants from both the public and private sectors have worked on three topics identified via a dedicated cycle of workshops:
- The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in audits and inspections: cross analysis and discussion on challenges and benefits associated with ICT during the Covid crisis
- GFSI data sharing and transparency working group (mandate of the electronic working group attached in the appendix section)
- A new momentum around capacity building to answer tomorrow’s food safety needs
The G2B is open to senior leaders of food safety agencies and members of the GFSI Steering Committee and has been seeing increased participation from food safety regulators, international governmental organisations who have demonstrated funding on projects related to food safety, market access and capacity building and who have a direct influence on the policy, regulatory and standard-setting domain.
To seek inclusive participation and engagement from a vast majority of G2B participants from all over the world, all meetings were held virtually this year, and a cycle of global virtual workshops was held after the cycle of regional workshops in order to prioritise and adapt the global agenda regionally while seeking participation from local stakeholders. You can read or watch the summary below.
- 436 participants in the 7 sessions from mid-January to mid-April
- 35 companies involved – from a small sugar producer in Africa to large players like Nestle and Walmart
- 48 governments representing 48 countries involved the G2B, coming from ministries of health, trade, agriculture and FDA agencies
- Many IGOs: STDF, IICA, IFC, UNIDO, FAO, World Bank, CODEX
Participation from businesses has increased by 15% and participation from regulators has doubled. This year’s edition was innovative and special in many ways: all meetings were virtual, the regional meetings provided a boost for outreach in new areas along with a new energy, engagement and participation. Contributions from governments and businesses from all over the world made these sessions both lively and fruitful.
What is coming next? G2B 2022
While we were thrilled with the success of the last G2B edition, we want to find ways to be more ambitious on fulfilling GFSI’s mission of safe food for people everywhere. We want to innovate in our work with partners from the public sector and this is core to GFSI’s strategic objective on public private partnerships (PPPs) which strives to create an environment where food safety regulators trust that GFSI-recognised certification can be used for risk-based resource allocation in their national food control systems.
The GFSI Steering Committee has a dedicated subcommittee focused on PPPs and we have therefore worked with this group to build an ambitious framework for the next iteration of G2B events in 2022 with the aim to deliver more impact with our public partners than what has been achieved so far.
The G2B forum is an engagement group powered by GFSI as a non-competitive initiative and a non- profit global industry network. As such, it is a unique platform between all categories of stakeholders focusing on peer learning, strategic dialogue and best practices in response to today’s biggest challenges shared by the public and private sectors on food safety, with the aim to provide solutions to the collective cross-sector concerns to reduce food safety risks.
The G2B engagement forum designs public-private projects and partnerships and shares learnings between cross-industry (GFSI members) and its public counterparts to examine areas that could improve food safety outcomes through greater collaboration through workshops, roundtables, and surveys by engaging with regulatory audiences around food safety issues. G2B 2022 wishes to focus on finding practical and innovative solutions to challenges faced in ensuring safe food for people everywhere by building trust, co-creating solutions and building stronger constructive relationships while enhancing projects between the public and private sectors.
The G2B 2022 edition will involve all national food safety authorities and IGOs willing to engage with the three-level engagement proposal below.
|G2B 2022 OBJECTIVES||FORMAT||TIMELINE|
|1- All regulators willing to share good practices by and with the industry about food fraud and the use of information and communication technologies||Cycle of workshops and webinars for all interested public stakeholders to hear and share good practices on those topics with and from the industry||
|2- A more stringent outcome, which is to deliver scaled-up impact based on clear and measurable outcomes for regulators to engage with GFSI on:
||5 or 6 Technical Working Groups meeting throughout 2022 for each topic||January 2022 – December 2022
By invitation only after expression of interest and pre-requisites fulfilled by the applying jurisdictions
|3- High level Government-to-Business meeting with a more
stringent and ambitious global partnership agreement with GFSI by committing to recognise GFSI-recognised certification in its NFCS as a risk-based resource allocation
|High level G2B meetings cycle between CGF CEOs from the food industry and decision makers from food safety authorities and International Governmental Organisations working on food safety||January – June 2022Invitation only|
For interested parties who wish to participate to the next G2B edition, the call for participation will start the week of 22 November by email. If you are interested, you can also write to Anne Gerardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.