What is GFSI?

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a business-driven initiative for the development of food safety management systems to ensure food facilities are processing safe food for consumers. GFSI provides a platform for collaboration between some of the world’s leading food safety experts from both the private and public sectors.

GFSI has created a benchmarking process in which a procedure of a food safety-related scheme is compared to the GFSI Guidance Document. The Guidance Document was drafted with input from food safety experts all over the world, and helps define the process in which food safety schemes can gain recognition by GFSI.

A food safety scheme is recognized by GFSI when it meets the minimum food safety requirements built out in the GFSI Guidance Documents. There are many food safety management schemes that meet the criteria of the GFSI Guidance Document and are therefore recognized by GFSI. The food safety management schemes Safe Food Alliance provides services for are:

  1. British Retail Consortium (BRC)
  2. Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI)

Among the many standards present in food manufacturing today, GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certification schemes are increasingly becoming the most important and widely accepted. These schemes help meet the demands of a globalized market for improving food safety across the food supply chain. An effective implementation of GFSI schemes can enable manufacturers to

  • Establish conformity to robust food safety and quality management standards
  • Drive continuous improvements
  • Increase operational efficiency/productivity
  • Protect their brand
  • Gain acceptance and recognition of their products, processes, and services around the world

The rapid adoption of GFSI schemes  (HACCP-based food safety and quality management systems) has been predominantly driven by customer requirements. Both Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems are intended to ensure the safe production of food. However, GMP is the “first step” to food safety — a combination of management and manufacturing practices designed to ensure food products are consistently processed to comply with safety standards. GMPs are the foundation of a food safety system, which is further improved through the introduction of HACCP to create a systematic approach to production that prevents and controls hazards before food safety is compromised.

Certification Process by an Accredited Certification Body

GFSI standards require that a food company must only be certified by an accredited Certification Body, which helps ensure that the audits are conducted in a consistent manner applying GFSI benchmarked schemer Safe Food Certifications, LLC is one of these accredited Certification Bodies and licensed to conduct SQF and BRC certification audit, and as such they have to be audited to the ISO 17065 standard every year, very similar to the way food companies are audited each year in order to maintain their certification.