ANAHEIM, Calif., USA – 26th February 2014 – The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Global Food Safety Conference kicked off today in Anaheim, California with a record breaking attendance of over 1100 attendees from 50 countries worldwide. Over 670 food safety stakeholders also attended the annual Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) Stakeholder meeting that took place in the morning before the conference. The annual Conference, now in its 13th year and returning to the USA after its European event last year in Barcelona, has established itself as the leading business driven food safety event of the year. 

Welcome Address 
Yves Rey, Corporate Quality General Manager, Danone, France and Outgoing Chair of Global Food Safety Initiative 
Yves Rey welcomed the delegates and said that the food system has never been safer but every year food borne diseases still claim the lives of 1.8 million people around the world. Rey said that safe food is both a shared risk and a shared responsibility. He described it as a fundamental requirement for public health, national economies and for social stability, paramount for business profitability and sustainability. He stated the GFSI vision ‘Safe food for consumers everywhere’ and concluded that it’s only by working together that it can be achieved. 
The Changing Food System: Forward or Backward? 
Jayson Lusk, Professor & Willard Sparks Endowed Chair, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Oklahoma State, USA 
Professor Lusk talked about the change in the food system, risk and consumers. He said that today less time is spent in preparing food and that less disposable income is spent on food. More fruit and vegetables are being eaten and food is safer than ever before. Today the food system delivers more nutritious food and it’s more convenient than ever. It is technology and science that has made this possible. “I am rationally optimistic about the future. I believe in the farmers and processors who are out there trying to get better food for us,” added Lusk. 
One Health: Environment, Animal, Food and People 
Jonna AK Mazet, Director and Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology, UC 
Davis One Health Institute, USA 
Jonna AK Mazet is a wildlife veterinarian specialising in zoonotic diseases. The Professor and Executive Director of the One Health Institute told delegates about a new phrase that is rooted in an ancient concept. “One Health” is the intersection between people, animals and the environment. AK Mazet said that the majority of new infectious diseases originate from animals and many of these are foodborne illnesses. She said that the aim must be to stop an epidemic before it becomes a pandemic. That means thinking about where pathogens might be and how they get there. It’s not just about people, animals or the environment; it’s about the combination of all that results in ‘one health.’ 
GFSI Efficacy Study Update 
Frank Yiannas, Vice President,Food Safety, Walmart, USA and Vice Chair of GFSI 
Catherine François, Global Director Diversey Consulting Diversey, part of Sealed Air, France 
Ilham Kadri, President, Diversey Care, Sealed Air 
Frank Yiannas and Catherine Francois told the conference about a ground breaking survey that had objectively measured the efficacy of the GFSI recognised schemes. Francois described the results of the GFSI Efficacy Study, a global online survey with 834 respondents from 15,000 manufacturers across 21 countries and 10 languages in Western Europe, North America, Mexico, Australia and NZ. The study showed that GFSI results in safer food, enhanced regulatory compliance, and strengthened food safety culture. A large majority said that the implementation of GFSI recognised schemes has been beneficial for their business and confirmed that they would do it again. Access full News Release here: 
The Future of Private / Public Collaboration: Challenges and Opportunities 
Sharon Lindan Mayl, FDA, USA 
Sharon Lindan Mayl talked about the Food Safety Modernisation Act and said that the Act is about preventing the harm from happening. She named some opportunities for future collaboration with GFSI. She said that the GFSI Guidance Document represents a landmark attempt to raise standards and congratulated the GFSI for their work on auditor competency. 
She concluded that GFSI has not only said they can drive change and continuous improvement but have shown that they can actually deliver it. 
The Future of Private / Public Collaboration: Challenges and Opportunities 
Hans Beuger, Public health officer food safety, Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, the Netherlands 
Neil Bouwer, Senior Vice-President, Agency Transformation, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada 
Terry Donohoe, Head of Policy Support, Food Standards Agency, UK 
Nuri Gras R, Executive Secretary, Chilean Agency for Quality and Food Safety, Chilean Government, Chile 
Shaoping GU, General Director of Registration Department, Certification and Accreditation Administration of PR.China, China 
Sharon Lindan Mayl, FDA, USA 
The panel discussion that concluded the first day of the Conference brought together regulators from the USA, Canada, China, Chile, The Netherlands and the UK. They discussed how they must manage risk with limited resources. It’s correct to consider and exploit the opportunities presented by activities in the private sector. It’s a good time to look at change with the case for modernisation as true for the public sector as it is for the private. 
The panel went on to talk about the precious consumer commodity that is trust. Regulators and the industry have to work closer together to build mutual trust. They agreed that in the future a more collaborative approach needs to be found. While third party certification will never substitute for enforcement it can certainly help to manage risk effectively.