PARIS, 21st September 2018 – The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has been the subject of a freshly-published, peer-reviewed research paper in the Journal of Food Protection titled “Impact of the Global Food Safety Initiative on Food Safety Worldwide: Statistical Analysis of a Survey of International Food Processors".
The paper’s results confirm the rationale behind the creation and ongoing development of GFSI, while demonstrating how this industry body is delivering on its goal to continuously improve food safety management systems in pursuit of safe food for consumers everywhere.
This is a rewarding outcome for the many industry leaders who have dedicated their time and energy into building up GFSI and agreeing to contribute to food safety as a non-competitive issue.
The Culmination of a Widespread Collective Effort
This scientific paper explains the results of the largest and most comprehensive formal survey of processors certified to a GFSI-recognised certification programme ever to be carried out. It is the result of a journey that began several years earlier with the “GFSI Efficacy Study”, and having benefited from the contributions of a host of food safety experts, has culminated in this definitive white paper that firmly establishes the value of third-party certifications.
While individual companies have tried to measure the benefits of the GFSI approach, this was a broad multinational study, which included 834 food manufacturers across 21 countries, including organisations in North America, Mexico, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Study Confirms GFSI’s Role in Making Food Safer
One significant finding from the study is that, according to a large majority of survey respondents, certification against a GFSI-recognised certification programme enhanced their ability to produce safe food.
The study also reveals that “GFSI certification” helped operations improve compliance with existing regulations, while helping them better prepare for future regulatory changes, backed up by a majority of respondents. This reinforces GFSI’s current strategic priority of increasing public-private collaboration and partnerships, scaling up its work with regulators around the world.
Other noteworthy results looked at further benefits, such as food safety culture, with the majority of respondents saying that certification has strengthened their food safety culture through enhancements in training, increased communication, better measurements, and strengthened management commitment.
“This landmark study provides further evidence of the benefits of being certified against a GFSI-recognized certificate program”, said Kerry Bridges, Senior Director of Food Safety for Walmart and GFSI Board Member. “The results of the survey indicate that certification helps Food Processers strengthen their food safety management systems, enhance regulatory compliance, and promote a culture of food safety, which ultimately benefits their customers and consumers”.
Consistent with GFSI’s Comprehensive Approach
From open consultations to parity-based multi-stakeholder meetings and working groups, GFSI has consistently maintained a highly participative and transparent approach. This study is no exception. The collaborative approach, the comprehensive scope and the submission for peer review are in line with this commitment. Its publication in the world’s leading food safety journal is a great achievement and many thanks go to all those involved in making it happen.
The paper can be seen in the September issue of the Journal of Food Protection and can also be accessed online at https://jfoodprotection.org under Issue in Progress.
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