Growing food companies will eventually hear about the value and possible requirement of having GFSI "approved" manufacturing in place. Getting to the root of what that means can be complex, because the certification is not granted directly by the GFSI organization.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was formed in 2000 when manufacturers, retailers, brand owners and experts came together to agree upon a set of globally harmonized high level food safety standards.
As a result, GFSI is the umbrella organization that recognizes and monitors a select group of organizations to grant certification with their own version of requirements, fees, auditors and certification symbols.
Take a look at this regularly updated link from GFSI where they list the current recognized certification bodies Mygfsi. A manufacturer can choose the certification bodies that aligns the best with their product and process.
Image source: mygfsi.com
Why does understanding GFSI matter?
Brand owners will benefit from sourcing ingredients from a supplier certified by one of these select organizations for confidence that the top food safety and quality programs are in place. This also will make it easier down the road when working with GFSI co-packers.
Additionally, partnering with a co-packer that is certified by one of these GFSI recognized organizations is key to ensuring finished product food safety and opens up broader distribution opportunities as some larger retailers look for this to be in place.
Becoming certified is a significant investment for a manufacturing facility often requiring added staff and expertise. A common first step on this journey is to put a robust HACCP plan in place and then build up to the more complex requirements of GFSI recognized certifications.
For more information reach out to your Venturepark Labs contacts.
Written By: Marlis Bens, Venturepark Labs Program Manager