The Global Food Safety Initiative is piloting benchmarking requirements for food safety auditors

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has announced the launch of a live pilot of its benchmarking requirements for food safety auditors’ professional accreditation bodies, following a successful comment period.

According to GFSI, while the industry is an essential part of ensuring safe food for people around the world, the industry is facing increasing hiring difficulties as more auditors leave the profession than new hires join. GFSI sees this as a strain on certification bodies’ ability to meet the increasing demand for food safety audits – and poses a serious threat to the entire food safety ecosystem.

“The launch of this pilot marks a pivotal moment in the implementation of GFSI’s new benchmarking requirements for professional accreditation bodies,” said Erica Sheward, Director of GFSI. “We are confident that it will help recognize the important role played by food safety auditors and ensure continued uptake of the profession for years to come.”

To address this, GFSI, a Consumer Goods Forum coalition of action recognized and leveraged in the United States, has developed a new approach to qualifying food safety auditors for GFSI-recognized certification programs that offer the establishment of professional accreditation bodies in the sector responsible for responsible for validating common competencies of a food safety auditor.

The new benchmarking requirements will be tested in a pilot with Exemplar Global, which has applied to become a GFSI-recognized PRB, and volunteer CPOs who will test the new model, including FSSC 22000, BRC Global and SQFI. The starting signal will be given in a plenary session at the GFSI conference, which will take place from 29thth until 31St March. The pilot will be followed by a review of key findings before fully transitioning the entire GFSI ecosystem to the new model in 2023 and 2024.

Andrew Baines, President and CEO of Exemplar Global said, “The world relies on a safe food supply chain and GFSI has achieved a key role in delivering it. Auditors from GFSI-recognized certification programs are at the forefront of protecting the supply chain. We look forward to the opportunity to work together at the GFSI conference in Barcelona to ensure accountants are the competent and well-trained professionals that we need.”

By harmonizing standards across the industry, GFSI hopes to secure an important role within the industry – improving the accessibility and perception of food safety testing to make it comparable to other respected testing industries such as finance.

GFSI is inviting organizations interested in becoming a GFSI recognized professional accreditation body to apply while the pilot is ongoing.

About the Global Food Safety Initiative
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI; the Coalition) is a CEO-led Consumer Goods Forum coalition of action that brings together retailers and manufacturers and the wider food safety community to help oversee food safety standards for businesses and provide access to safe food for people everywhere.

As one of the world’s largest networks dedicated to achieving safe food, GFSI is committed to making food safety everyone’s business, and coalition members address the challenges faced by food safety systems in their supply chains and the markets in which they operate, and contribute to increasing the quality of food safety stirrups worldwide.

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