Policy Recognises Growing Food Safety Collaboration among Government, Industry and Consumers

PARIS, 5th February 2016 – The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) applauds the new Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) policy on private certification schemes used by food facilities that was announced this week in Ottawa.

The CFIA acknowledges that private certification schemes, including those recognised by GFSI, can help food facilities meet or exceed regulatory food safety requirements. While the CFIA will remain responsible for verifying compliance of food facilities with the food safety requirements of relevant Canadian food legislation, the new policy enables the CFIA to use the results of private certification to inform its risk-based inspection activities.

“Companies that incorporate food safety management systems into their operations to meet customer requests under GFSI will be well-placed to meet similar requirements under Canadian food safety reforms,” said GFSI Board Vice Chair Mike Robach of Cargill, Inc. “Science guides policymakers and industry to the same objective endpoints, leading to greater efficiency, collaboration and, more importantly, ‘Safe Food for Consumers, Everywhere’ throughout Canada.”

Today, in Canada, over 2,400 food facilities are certified to GFSI-recognised global standards by standards-setting organisations or “schemes” recognised by GFSI. The recognised schemes include: BRC Global, CanadaGAP, FSSC 22000, GlobalGAP, Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Global Red Meat Standard, IFS, Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF) and Primus GFS.

With food safety reforms occurring in Canada, the United States and elsewhere, the number of facilities to GFSI-recognised schemes is growing. Today, GFSI’s global partners audit and certify more than 100,000 food operations and facilities in more than 160 countries annually. And the number of countries recognising private certification is growing in Europe, North America and other countries as well.

“Accredited third-party private certification is an important part of the global food safety supply-chain system and it is increasingly used by the industry to achieve safe food for consumers everywhere, which is the GFSI vision,” added Robach. “GFSI has based its Guidance Document on the Principles of Codex Alimentarius, the international food safety standard developed by FAO and WHO. As a GFSI Board member, I am pleased to see that the Canadian government has affirmed the role of accredited third-party certification in food safety which is the foundation of the GFSI model.”


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. www.theconsumergoodsforum.com