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GFSI Opens New Public Consultation on Securing the Future of Food Safety Auditors

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), The Consumer Goods Forum’s Coalition of Action on food safety, announces the launch of a consultation on a new proposed approach to food safety auditors’ qualification, training, and continuing professional development (CPD). The consultation, which will be open for four weeks, is designed to enable the development and implementation of a new set of benchmarking requirements for programs developed by professional recognition bodies to support and verify food safety auditor competence.

The proposed benchmarking requirements were developed by a technical working group gathering experts on the topic representing various GFSI and education stakeholders; this enabled consensus building on the content of the document submitted through this consultation, taking into account different points of view, impact of this work on the GFSI community, and, more broadly, the food safety community.

The purpose of this consultation is to engage with all interested stakeholders on:

  • The technical content of the proposed benchmarking requirements
  • the ability of the new approach to deliver the outcomes of the RTTT feature 1

“Today, many more food safety auditors are needed to ensure that people have access to food they can trust to be safe and so there is an increasing shortage of qualified food safety auditors, requiring urgent action to remedy,” said Erica Sheward, GFSI director, The Consumer Goods Forum. “To help deliver a collective solution, GFSI is working in partnership with organizations around the world to boost recognition for the profession, attract new recruits, and invest in career development and recognition for auditors already in employment. Building both numbers and competence of auditors will also help ensure consistently high and reliable audit experiences for auditees. This consultation, of course, now gives everyone involved a platform to share their inputs.”

In announcing this initiative, GFSI, stated: “Through the global reach and CEO leadership of The Consumer Goods Forum, GFSI is uniquely placed to help drive positive change in this area, representing some of the largest food businesses on the planet. However, GFSI understands the important role of Professional Recognition Bodies, certification bodies, certification program owners, as well as the auditors themselves, and is keen to work with all parties to ensure the most holistic solution to boost entry into the profession and support retention.”

GFSI invites all interested parties to join this mission to build awareness of the vital role of food safety auditors and transform how food safety auditors are taken care of.

Interested parties are encourage to read the full consultation document and provide feedback by completing the online survey, included in the document, before noon CEST on 25th May. GFSI also encourages interested parties to circulate this consultation to other relevant stakeholders in your network to gain maximum feedback.

About the Global Food Safety Initiative
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI; the Coalition) is a CEO-led Coalition of Action from The Consumer Goods Forum, bringing together 34 retailers and manufacturers and an extended food safety community to help oversee food safety standards for businesses and help provide access to safe food for people everywhere. As one of the world’s largest networks to help achieve safe food, GFSI is committed to making food safety everyone’s business and the Coalition members are addressing challenges facing food safety systems in their supply chains and the markets they operate in, and are helping to raise the food safety bar globally. Its ambition is to strengthen and harmonize food safety systems so they are able to feed the growing, global population and develop markets that can deliver food safely, no matter where in the world the consumer is. To learn more, visit www.mygfsi.com.

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