What is GFSI and why is it important?

Cynthia Weber, May 21, 2012


The Global Food Safety Initiative, GFSI is an organization run by the Consumer Goods Forum. One of its main purposes is to benchmark existing food standards against food safety criteria and recognize those that meet the criteria outlined in the GFSI Guidance Document. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is coordinated by The Food Business Forum CIES. This forum is a global food network made up of approximately 400 retailers and manufacturers worldwide. Recognized food safety standards and their certification schemes are widely accepted throughout the world.

Many organizations in the food industry are requesting that suppliers achieve certification to one of the benchmarked standards. GFSI “benchmarks” food safety standards, evaluating them against a set of criteria to ensure the core of the standards are equivalent and certification will be acceptable. The goal is “Once certified, accepted everywhere” eliminating the time expense involved in duplication of audits. Many retailers and food manufacturing companies are requesting that suppliers become certified to a GFSI-recognized Standard.

The food safety schemes currently benchmarked by GFSI include:

    • FSSC 22000
    • SQF
    • BRCGS
    • Fresh Care
    • Global Seafood Alliance
    • CanadaGAP
    • Equitable Food Initiative
    • Global Red Meat Standard (GRMS)
    • Global Gap
    • IFS
    • Japan Food Safety Management Association
    • Japan Gap (Asia Gap)
    • Primus GFS

    Check the GFSI website (mygfsi.com) for the most up-to-date list of recognized standards.