» Opportunity for CBs in the food sector

05 April, 2018

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF), to which UKAS is a full member, and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), have entered into a new partnership as part of an ongoing strategy to strengthen collaboration for the benefit of consumers worldwide. Through this agreement, IAF and GFSI commit to developing and maintaining a close cooperation to ensure harmonisation of accreditation practices across the GFSI-benchmarked food safety certification programmes, while cooperating in the continuous improvement of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements and the benchmarking process. This will contribute to the GFSI objective of reducing food safety risks by delivering equivalence and convergence between effective food safety management systems, thereby enhancing food safety, ensuring consumer protection, and improving cost efficiency throughout the food supply chain.

The agreement, which was signed during the IAF-ILAC Mid-term meetings in Frankfurt, confirms that GFSI and its benchmarked Certification Programme Owners (CPOs), will make effective use of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). GFSI-recognised CPOs will require certification bodies (CBs) operating in a GFSI benchmarked food safety certification programme to be accredited by an accreditation body that is a signatory to the IAF MLA, such as UKAS. 

“I am convinced that this partnership will further strengthen the current framework of checks and balances, said GFSI senior representative Marie-Claude Quentin. “We have been collaborating with IAF for many years and this partnership formally recognises IAF as a partner of choice to manage and deliver effective and harmonised accreditation certification programmes.”

IAF Chair, Xiao Jianhua reported: “I am delighted to enter into partnership with GFSI as it recognises the value of the IAF MLA in delivering confidence in the marketplace. We look forward to working closely with GFSI to deliver effective food safety management systems, thereby improving supply chain and consumer confidence. “

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) brings together key actors of the food industry to collaboratively drive continuous improvement in food safety management systems around the world. With a vision of Safe food for consumers everywhere, food industry leaders created GFSI in 2000 to find collaborative solutions to collective concerns, notably to reduce food safety risks, audit duplication and costs while building trust throughout the supply chain. The GFSI community works on a volunteer basis and is composed of the world's leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing and food service companies, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry. GFSI is powered by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network working to support Better Lives Through Better Business. www.mygfsi.com