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Collaborating Across Borders and Barriers

As the world’s leading consumer goods companies, we are collaborating across borders and barriers to help ensure safe food for everyone. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI; the Coalition) is a Coalition of Action from The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), bringing together 37 retailers and manufacturers from across the CGF membership and an extended food safety community to oversee food safety standards for businesses and help provide access to safe food for people everywhere.

Around the world, an estimated 600 million people – almost 1 in 10 – fall ill after eating contaminated food each year and concerns over food safety have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To tackle this, 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.

Everyone has the right to access safe, nutritious and nourishing food which is why GFSI’s work is critical to every community across the globe. As one of the world’s largest networks to help achieve safe food, we are committed to making food safety everyone’s business.

Strengthening & Harmonising Food Safety Systems

GFSI has two decades of exprience in supporting the industry on its food safety journey. Today, as a Coalition of Action, GFSI continues to bring together key actors of the food industry to collaboratively drive continuous improvement in food safety management systems around the world. Our 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.

By focusing our work on benchmarking and harmonisation, capability building and public-private partnerships, our vision is for a world in which:

  • consumers can have confidence that the food they purchase daily is safe to eat and feed their families;
  • everyone involved in every step of the process of getting food from the field to the plate understands their responsibility in protecting the food’s integrity and safety;
  • companies and governments around the world set aside differences to work together for a safe global food supply;
  • small and local producers and food facilities can grow their business by ensuring their products meet international safety standards;
  • food safety inspectors have consistent and expanded independence, skills, and objectivity; and
  • the many systems and processes that provide controls and assurance on food safety are efficient and don’t unnecessarily duplicate each other.

We believe this vision will enable the industry to safely build trust – with consumers and partners along the supply chain – at a time when demand for the world’s food supply continues to grow and when consumers are demanding more information, more choice and more authenticity in the food they buy.

Building Upon the Race to the Top Framework

While many individual companies and organisations share the goal of delivering safe food, our focus is on enabling the extensive collaboration and dialogues that are so critical to achieving it – involving food retailers and manufacturers, suppliers, the agriculture industry, academics, governments and many others across the world.

Underpinning the actions of the Coalition is the Race to the Top Framework, which proposes an enhancement in 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.

This redefining of our strategy – based on extensive consultations – is supported by a Coalition Charter and will help our members to collaborate at scale, and with other key stakeholders within the GFSI Community, from farm to fork to ensure transparency in the work we are doing and trust in the outcomes we are achieving.

At our core, we are harmonising and driving improvements in food safety certification programmes; building food safety capabilities across the global food supply chain; and providing a platform for public-private partnerships, including governments, food safety regulators, IGOs. We also work to ensure best-practice knowledge sharing across our network to advance food safety.

Our Strategic Objectives

To achieve the GFSI vision of “Safe food for consumers everywhere”, we focus on three strategic objectives:

Benchmarking & Harmonisation

Capability Building

Public-private Collaboration

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