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PARIS, 23rd March 2022 – The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) today announces the launch of the first live pilot of its Benchmarking Requirements for Food Safety Auditors’ Professional Recognition Bodies, following a successful consultation period.

Although Food Safety Auditors are a vital part of ensuring safe food is available for people around the world, the industry is facing mounting recruitment difficulties, with more auditors leaving the profession than new recruits joining it. This is putting a strain on the Certification Bodies’ ability to cater for the increasing demand in food safety audits – and presents a severe threat to the whole food safety ecosystem. The situation has worsened due to increasingly complex and duplicated requirements applying to new and existing auditors.

To combat this, GFSI, a Coalition of Action of The Consumer Goods Forum, has developed a new approach for the qualification of food safety auditors for GFSI-recognised Certification Programmes which offer to establish Professional Recognition Bodies in the sector responsible for validating common competencies in a food safety auditor. The move, informed by an open consultation to gather input from a wide range of stakeholders, means that CPOs and CBs can rely on this registration to a GFSI-recognised PRB as evidence of the competency of the auditor – eliminating the need for repeated auditor checks.

The new Benchmarking Requirements will be trialled through a pilot with Exemplar Global, who applied to become a GFSI-recognised PRB, and volunteering CPOs who will test the new model including FSSC 22000, BRC Global and SQFI. The launch will be marked in a Plenary session at the GFSI Conference taking place in Barcelona from 29th to 31st March. The pilot will be followed by a review of key learnings before a full transition of the entire GFSI ecosystem to the new model in 2023 and 2024.

By harmonising standards across the industry, GFSI hopes to safeguard a vital role within the industry – elevating the accessibility and perception of food safety auditing to be comparable with other well-respected auditing industries such as finance.

Erica Sheward, Director of GFSI, said:
“The launch of this pilot marks a pivotal moment in the implementation of GFSI’s new Benchmarking Requirements for professional recognition bodies. We’re confident that it will help to recognise the vital role of food safety auditors and safeguard ongoing take-up of the profession for years to come.
“By mutualising qualification efforts for auditors across the industry, we can make food safety auditing an accessible, attainable and desirable profession for many more people – helping to protect the professional future of an essential component of the food safety ecosystem.”

Andrew Baines, President & CEO of Exemplar Global, said:
“The world relies on a safe and secure food supply chain and GFSI has established a key role in delivering this. Auditors of GFSI-recognised certification programmes are on the front line in the protection of the supply chain. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate at the GFSI Conference in Barcelona to ensure that auditors are the competent, well-skilled professionals that we need them to be.”

This work forms part of the larger GFSI Race to the Top (RTTT) Framework which works to improve trust, transparency and confidence in GFSI-recognised certification and audit outcomes.

GFSI is asking for organisations interested in becoming a GFSI-recognised Professional Recognition Body to apply while the pilot is ongoing.


For more information please contact: Lisa Prévert, Senior Communications Manager at The Consumer Goods Forum.


About the Global Food Safety Initiative

  • The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI; the Coalition) is a CEO-led Coalition of Action from The Consumer Goods Forum, bringing together 37 retailers and manufacturers and an extended food safety community to help oversee food safety standards for businesses and help provide access to safe food for people everywhere.
  • As one of the world’s largest networks to help achieve safe food, GFSI is committed to making food safety everyone’s business and the Coalition members are addressing challenges facing food safety systems in their supply chains and the markets they operate in and are helping to raise the food safety bar globally.
  • Its ambition is to strengthen and harmonise food safety systems so they are able to feed the growing, global population and develop markets that can deliver food safely, no matter where in the world the consumer is.

To learn more, visit www.mygfsi.com.


About The Consumer Goods Forum

    • The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide.
    • It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format.
    • Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 4.6 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain.
    • It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.
    • For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
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