This announcement came as part of the opening ceremony of the 4th annual GFSI Focus Day China, where over 300 food safety specialists are gathered today to learn how to leverage GFSI to meet China food safety challenges amidst current regulatory changes.

Joining Forces to Address a Shared Responsibility

Within this new partnership, GFSI and UNIDO will jointly design innovative food safety capacity building projects as public-private partnerships and jointly mobilise resources for their implementation. They will join forces in establishing a public-private platform on food safety focusing on identified priority countries such as China. Overall, GFSI and UNIDO will jointly advocate for food safety as a shared responsibility and improve understanding of the importance of effective engagement of the industry in advancing food safety globally.

To overcome global food safety challenges, we need to bring together the public and private sector, academia and international organisations and jointly deliver global solutions.” said UNIDO Director General, LI Yong at the recent Vienna Food Safety Forum where GFSI and UNIDO started the discussions leading to today’s announcement.

Building on Best Practice to Take it Further

With new objectives in sight, this partnership builds on the successful collaborations between GFSI and UNIDO since 2009, with the design and implementation of food safety capacity building projects in a number of countries thanks to the GFSI Global Markets Programme. It follows the outstanding achievements made under the recent sustainable supplier development project implemented in Malaysia, also based on GFSI Global Markets.

At the global level, UNIDO has been actively involved as a member and key partner of the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) food safety capacity-building programme” said UNIDO Director General Mr. Li Yong at the Forum. “Over the past six years, projects have been implemented in Egypt, India, Malaysia and Ukraine, in partnership with a number of GFSI private sector company members such as Metro, AEON and Pick N Pay.

GFSI and The Consumer Goods Forum are pleased to collaborate with UNIDO to lead the way in food safety development through capacity building” said GFSI Chairman Cenk Curol. “Food operations worldwide are coming under increasing pressure to consistently deliver safe food in the face of growing demands and ever more complex supply chains. These challenges cannot be overcome without sweeping global partnerships and ambitious development programmes such as those put forward within this collaboration.”



UNIDO is the specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability. The Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in three thematic priorities, each of which represents different aspects of inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) – creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness and safeguarding the environment. Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation.


The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is an industry-driven initiative providing thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain. This work is accomplished through collaboration between 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. They meet together at technical working group and stakeholder meetings, conferences and regional events to share knowledge and promote a harmonized approach to managing food safety across the industry.


GFSI is managed by The Consumer Goods Forum (the CGF), a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.


Yangying XU
Chief Representative, CGF China and Global Food Safety Initiative China
The Consumer Goods Forum