China is a key link in the global food safety chain and the Chinese government have shown innovation as the first government to approach GFSI and submit their national certification scheme to be assessed against the GFSI requirements.
Pioneering a new assessment approach
In today’s world emerging markets are crucially important to food safety globally. Along with increased governmental certification schemes in these markets comes an increased need for harmonisation and equivalence. One of GFSI’s main objectives is to reduce food safety risks globally by delivering equivalence and convergence between effective food safety management systems.
Since 2007, this equivalence and convergence has been delivered through GFSI recognition of private food safety schemes. In order to take into account the differing structure of government-owned schemes, GFSI is now introducing a new category – Technical Equivalence. This category, dedicated to government-owned schemes, allows for the acknowledgement of a scheme’s equivalence against the relevant technical requirements of the GFSI Guidance Document. It is distinguished from GFSI recognition of commercial schemes, which also assess the scheme’s governance and operational management components.
GFSI announces China HACCP Technical Equivalence
Thanks to this new category, GFSI has assessed a government-owned scheme for the first time since its creation. The China HACCP scheme has been judged to be equivalent with the GFSI technical requirements as laid out in the GFSI Guidance Document version 6. This is an acknowledgement of the equivalence of the content of the certification scheme to the relevant scope of GFSI requirements (Part III).
GFSI and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA) are delighted to build a new public-private partnership. The Technical Equivalence is a positive development for GFSI and China. This is a continuation of the work that GFSI has long lead within public-private partnerships and demonstrates GFSI’s recognition of the importance PPPs in global harmonisation and continuous improvement.
GFSI is pleased to have pioneered this approach and now wishes to glean from this initial collaboration before moving forward with assessments of government-owned schemes.
A new partnership for collaborative success
Through this new partnership, GFSI is taking its mission— to provide continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide— to a new level. The GFSI Board, through this acknowledgement, supports the GFSI vision of “Safe food for consumers everywhere” and focuses on translating this global vision into a local reality for China.
“As emerging markets are crucially important to us, we realise that we have to further revisit our approach to certification” says Cenk Gurol, GFSI Board Chair. “The GFSI Board is keen to develop a new long-term strategic approach with China that addresses the local situation and continues to lead the industry in this area. We believe that this new technical category of equivalence will open up opportunities and solutions beyond the current realm of private schemes.”
Since its creation fifteen years ago, GFSI has been providing thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain. GFSI wants to have positive impact in China, and believes that this acknowledgement of Technical Equivalence will drive adoption of the scheme by more local suppliers, thereby improving the general level of food safety in China. Looking forward, GFSI hopes to work with its stakeholders to find a way for further opportunities to work with CNCA/AQSIQ on future harmonisation benefits for all parties.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL FOOD SAFETY INITIATIVE
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.
ABOUT THE CONSUMER GOODS FORUM
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
Chief Representative, CGF China and Global Food Safety Initiative China
The Consumer Goods Forum