"Safe food for consumers worldwide". The vision of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) can only be realized if food safety requirements are continuously adapted to the latest developments in the industry. For this reason, GFSI has now published a new version. What changes in the revision and what these changes mean for you? Here is the summary:

The Global Food Safety Initiative was launched in 2000 with the goal of finding collaborative solutions to collective food safety concerns. GFSI aims to standardize audit criteria, reduce food risks and costs, while building trust throughout the supply chain. For this purpose, GFSI has developed so-called Benchmarking Requirements, which are updated regularly.

Food standards such as IFS, BRCGS and FSSC 22000 have implemented these requirements and are recognized by GFSI. In order to continue to maintain recognition, it is necessary for standard setters to implement new/changed GFSI requirements in their own standard in a timely manner. For this reason, the GFSI Revision is a way for you, as a user of the standard, to anticipate future developments in GFSI-recognized standards. Let's take a look into the crystal ball together.

What changes in the new version?

The new version includes elements that are currently receiving a lot of attention in the food safety field. One of these is food safety culture. This term describes shared values, beliefs principles and norms that influence food safety attitudes and behaviors throughout the organization. Elements of the food safety culture are initiated by senior management. This includes, for example, communication about food safety policies and responsibilities, training, employee feedback on food safety-related issues, performance management, etc. GFSI already published a position paper on the topic last year, you can find a summary here. Find out why food safety culture is so important in this blog post.

Furthermore, the new version introduces a mandatory review of the effectiveness of the traceability system. Another change relates to product development. Design and development processes will be established, implemented and maintained to ensure that new/modified products or manufacturing processes produce safe and legal goods. In addition, regular inspections of facilities and work equipment will be required.

In Version 2020, GFSI strengthens transparency and objectivity in the audit process. For example, unannounced audits are now no longer voluntary, but become mandatory. Get detailed information about this change here. In addition, a minimum audit duration has been introduced.

Constanze Illner

Constanze Illner (she/her) is Research and Communications Officer in the area of sustainability and food safety. In this position, she keeps an eye on all important developments in this context and informs our clientele in a monthly newsletter. She also moderates the annual Sustainability Heroes conference.