Senior Technical Manager, GFSI
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), part of the Consumer Goods Forum, was delighted to support World Accreditation Day (#WAD) again this year. This world day is a critical vehicle to raise awareness around the key role accreditation plays in ensuring safe food for consumers everywhere.
As our world faces unprecedented threats due to COVID-19, safeguarding both consumers and global supply chains is more crucial – and more challenging – than ever before. Against this backdrop, GFSI was delighted that IAF chose to focus its attention for the 2020 edition around the theme “Accreditation: Improving Food Safety”.
This theme was a perfect springboard to GFSI’s ambitious plan of modernisation identified in February 2020 by the GFSI board of members named the “Race To The Top” and intended to address the specific challenges GFSI has been facing in relation to trust and confidence in GFSI certification. In delivering this plan, the IAF-GFSI partnership will play a crucial role, and the IAF WG Food has already committed to actively support GFSI through the Task Force established by the Technical Committee in October 2019 to support this collaboration.
As part of the GFSI Experts Series, GFSI Senior Manager Marie-Claude Quentin met with key figures such as Marcus Long, IIOC president and member of the IAF Executive Committee, and Skip Greenaway, ex-co-convenor of the IAF Food WG, to discuss the importance of accreditation and the value of the IAF-GFSI partnership.
Marcus Long explained the objectives behind the 2020 theme, saying “World Accreditation Day is two days after the second-ever UN World Food Safety Day, so it gives us an excellent opportunity, a real double whammy of publicity about how our system — the GFSI system, certification, accreditation — can help drive better food safety around the world. It’s a great opportunity for us to really push that message to regulators, to governments, to business and to consumers as well, and say, look, there is a strong, robust system here. … It’s really exciting, this level of dynamism going on at the moment, and this spirit of people wanting to bring their expertise together to work positively to make things better.”
Skip Greenaway explained why accreditation is so critical: “I think one of the key pieces that we need to make sure to remind everybody is the word ‘accreditation’. … Accreditation is behind all of the activities around the world, whether we’re talking about food, whether we’re talking about aerospace, whether we’re talking about automotive, whether we’re talking about social responsibility. Behind it, is the word accreditation. It gives the strength and the power of an independent oversight that, quite frankly, is helping all of us do the right thing. To me, food safety is not a competitive situation. It’s absolutely something that all of us, no matter who we are and who we compete with, are all in this together, because we all have to be committed to take the world to a safer place.”
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