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Food safety culture leads sector challenges: GFSI

foodmanufacture.co.uk by Michelle Perrett, March 12, 2018

The GFSI aims to drive continuous improvement in food safety management

Safety culture, new technology and consumer trends are three key challenges facing the food sector today, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) manager Anne Gerardi has told Food Manufacture.

Gerardi was speaking in the lead up to the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF’s) Global Food Safety Conference, which took place last week (March 5–8) in Tokyo and brought together 1,000 food safety specialists from more than 50 countries.

The GFSI, which aims to drive continuous improvement in food safety management, is operated through the CGF.

“Food safety culture is a big challenge,”​ said Gerardi. “How do you manage and incorporate good practices and food safety management systems into the future of your company?”​

The creation of a working group​

The GFSI had created a working group with academic and industry members to examine this issue, she said.

Food Manufacture’s Food Safety Conference 2018
Food Manufacture​ is holding its Food Safety Conference on 21 June at etc.venues Maple House in Birmingham. Click here​ for more details.

One important area being examined was how regulators were trying to incorporate food safety culture into their regulatory framework, she added.

GFSI had also raised the question of how the private and the public sectors could work better together to manage food safety risks.

“We have the key strategy, which is to foster dialogue and collaboration between the private sector and the public sector through national regulators, and international organisations,”​ said Gerardi.

‘A platform to gather all the stakeholders’​

“The private sector cannot do it alone and the idea is that GFSI should provide a platform to gather all the stakeholders from the public and private sectors, academics, non-governmental organisations and regulators to provide key solutions to tackle these challenges all together.”​

There were also questions of how data and new technology could be better used to examine consumer trends, as well as help manage the food supply chain and fight food fraud, said Gerardi.

GFSI has set out its key strategies and priorities as an organisation.

These included a focus on the latest GFSI benchmarking requirements, which cover a range of issues including food fraud, to foster public-private partnerships and capacity building.