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Correcting Misconceptions about GFSI Certification Programs

Misinformation can be frustrating. Every so often, a misconception that you thought had long since been dispelled rears its head again, and you find yourself explaining something that you thought everyone understood with clarity, when it is clear that some people did not. Such is the case with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). GFSI was founded to facilitate the Global trade of food that meets an agreed upon standard for food safety. GFSI brought an end to having to conduct a specific food safety audit for product that was destined for a particular place in the world and a different audit for a different place. It provided welcome relief for both food suppliers, as well as buyers. Suppliers could supply product to multiple buyers in multiple countries while conducting only one GFSI benchmarked audit. At the same time, buyers were able to seek out suppliers of specific commodities they desired who had completed GFSI Benchmarked audits. GFSI was seemingly a win-win for all concerned. Yet, a short time ago emails floated around cyberspace stating that Indonesia was accepting only one Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard for agricultural imports. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that neither GFSI nor the owner of that particular certification program was aware of this rumor. In all likelihood, someone working for some certification body made an incorrect assumption about the viability of the other GFSI benchmarked certification programs. Having begun the process to develop a certification program for GFSI benchmarking nearly 15 years ago, we at PrimusGFS were understandably frustrated, but quickly realized that misinformation is spread often, and sometimes innocently enough. When that happens, the solution is education. Sometimes people just don’t understand, and we have to increase their awareness and comprehension of GFSI as a concept, and PrimusGFS as one of the possible answers. The GFSI website states that the purpose of GFSI was and continues to be “Safe food for consumers, everywhere” and their earlier slogan aptly noted, “Once certified, accepted everywhere.” Therefore, it does not matter what country food originates in, or what country it is destined for, every GFSI benchmarked certification program (including PrimusGFS) is accepted by buyers anywhere and everywhere in the world. Sometimes all that is needed is a little effort on our part to help clients and potential clients understand. So, if your company is exporting food to Indonesia or anywhere else in the world, PrimusGFS stands ready to help you sell.