Q&A - GFSI
What is the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)?
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is an international benchmark model of best practice against which food safety systems such as Freshcare can be assessed. Customers can confidently accept fresh produce from suppliers certified with any food safety system that meets the GFSI benchmark requirements.
More information on GFSI can be found here: https://www.mygfsi.com
Why is Freshcare benchmarking to GFSI?
Freshcare has to achieve GFSI benchmark status to ensure ongoing market acceptance by retailers. Without GFSI benchmarking, Freshcare would cease to be recognised and the Australian fresh produce industry would lose its most relevant, practical and cost-effective food safety certification option.
Benchmarking to GFSI means Freshcare food safety systems are aligned with global best practice.
What benefit does GFSI benchmarking provide my business?
Businesses certified to Freshcare can feel confident they are meeting international best practice food safety standards determined by GFSI benchmarks, and are compliant with customer food safety requirements as a base standard for HARPS.
What are the changes to Freshcare for GFSI benchmarking?
The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standards are required to be updated to align with the release of new benchmark criteria as set by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Freshcare communicates updates to the Food Safety & Quality Standards directly with participating businesses and stakeholders.
Information on the Freshcare Standards can be found here: www.freshcare.com.au/standards
The GFSI benchmark process also means changes for our certification bodies in areas such as auditor competency, audit scheduling and management of corrective actions.
The Freshcare office has also been required to update our internal management systems and operating procedures to meet GFSI requirements.
What are the impacts on my business?
You will need to complete a review of your current Freshcare Food Safety & Quality system and check that any new requirements are addressed. Updates related to management records, policies and procedures will be required. There are also additional requirements related to managing food safety risks, particularly relating to worker health and hygiene.
What will it cost?
Freshcare businesses may incur additional costs due to the extra time it may take to implement the new standards and/or meet audit requirements. The impact will vary depending on the circumstances of each business. However, we do not expect that there will be substantial changes to system implementation and compliance on farm which should keep cost increases to a minimum.
Is the Supply Chain Standard also being benchmarked to GFSI?
Yes, the benchmark of the Freshcare Supply Chain Standard (SC1) will commence in mid-2019, with plans for the release of an updated GFSI benchmarked standard in December 2019, and full implementation by 30 June 2020.