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GFSI / One connected world, one safe food supply


Over 1 000 food safety stakeholders from around the world gathered in Seattle, USA this week for the 2020 Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Conference, which also marked the 20th anniversary for the GFSI.

Action is more urgent than ever.

Addressing the conference, Peter Freedman, Managing Director of the Consumer Goods Forum said 2020 marked a moment of change in governance and strategy for GFSI. “Action is more urgent than ever”, he said, citing the climate advocate Greta Thunberg. “Our agenda remains one of positive change, but we’re trying to increase the urgency with which we enact that change”.

Erica Sheward

GFSI Director Erica Sheward

GFSI Director Erica Sheward echoed this urgency, asking delegates to leave their commercial interests at the door and work purely towards “a world where all food is safe” for the duration of the event. “This week is not about us as individuals, it’s about how we come together as a collective of brilliant minds to provide solutions”, she said, inviting the audience to stand in recognition of this commitment. Everyone in a packed auditorium took to their feet in a striking visual reminder of the shared mission.

Senior Food Standards Officer Hilde Kruse of the Codex Secretariat presented the Codex standard setting process in a session on “Setting expectations: How to develop food safety specifications”, explaining how Codex standards are science-based and developed through a robust, inclusive, transparent and consensus-driven process. Other speakers showcased the importance of Codex standards as a basis for food safety specifications in the food industry.

Hilde Kruse

Hilde Kruse, Codex Secretariat

World Food Safety Day 2020

Kruse also highlighted the upcoming World Food Safety Day as an opportunity for awareness raising on food safety referring to the slogan for the WFSD: “Food safety, everyone’s business”! “All stakeholders throughout the food chain continuum are invited to engage“, she said encouraging participants to use the WFSD to raise awareness and urge action. “Let’s celebrate together”, she added.


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GFSI conference website

Follow the twitter hashtag #gfsi20

Photo credit: © GFSI