Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI Certification) How to get GFSI Certified?

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI Certification) How to get GFSI Certified?

GFSI Certification Benchmarking Audit

The Global Food Safety Initiative: What You Need to Know:

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), founded in 2000, is an international collaboration among the world’s leading food safety experts and organizations. To ensure safe food worldwide, GFSI has developed a holistic approach to building consumer trust in the global food system by setting strict standards for food production, manufacturing, and distribution. Here, find out all you need to know about the initiative including its purpose, key principles, and how to become a member.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a comprehensive food safety initiative that helps to ensure that only the safest and most high-quality products are being imported into the local market. It is also used to verify that these products are meeting the standards set by national laws and regulations. GFSI was established to ensure confidence in the delivery of safer food to consumers while continuing to improve food safety throughout the supply chain.

These global standards address food, packaging, packaging materials, storage, and distribution for primary producers, manufacturers, and distributors. GFSI Certification allows companies to gain access to new markets, improve their reputation, and add value through better quality assurance programs.

What is Global Food Safety Initiative?

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a global collaboration of food safety experts from the retail, manufacturing, and food service industries. GFSI’s primary mission is to provide a single, comprehensive approach for ensuring that internationally recognized food safety standards are consistently applied across all parts of the global food supply chain.

How Does GFSI Certification Work?

GFSI certification is a process carried out by certified organizations and specific auditors to ensure that proper safety measures are in place and followed at steps throughout the food supply chain. Companies that have achieved GFSI certification are required to submit their operations, quality systems, and production environments to third-party audits regularly to remain certified. The GFSI audit seeks to identify non-conformance of standards set by recognized industry sectors such as the Global Retailer Produce Group (GRPG)and Codex Alimentarius.

The Benefits of GFSI Certified Standards:

GFSI Certified Standards are among the most rigorous and comprehensive food safety requirements available, helping businesses ensure that their products meet safety and quality standards. Learn more about the benefits of GFSI Certification and how it can help your business maintain food safety.

Not only is GFSI recognition and certification beneficial to the supplier, but it also allows retailers and other food business owners to assure their customers that the food products purchased from them are safe for consumption. Additionally, GFSI certification reduces the chances of food product recalls due to safety concerns, which can cause significant financial costs to businesses in terms of lost sales and reputational impacts. Furthermore, obtaining GFSI certification helps businesses qualify for certain government contracts.

Requirements To Achieve Global Food Safety Initiative Certification:

To be recognized as a GFSI-certified supplier, businesses must demonstrate that their food safety measures are compliant with GFSI’s seven principles and regularly undergo assessment and auditing. The principles include food safety management procedures that should be implemented in production, pest management, product labeling, logistical control systems, sanitation operations, and recalls/withdrawals. Additionally, suppliers must have a comprehensive system of traceability in place to ensure easy one-step forward and one-step back tracing capabilities should a problem arise.

Understanding GFSI Certified Standards:

GFSI Certified Standards provide a comprehensive set of requirements and procedures for companies looking to demonstrate their commitment to food safety excellence. By demonstrating a commitment to these standards, businesses can improve operational efficiency, reduce product recalls and mitigate legal issues associated with food safety violations. Additionally, GFSI Certified Standards can attract new customers and open up new markets by showcasing that the company is serious about its food safety efforts.

Do I Need GFSI Certification?

It is not a legal requirement to have GSFI certification (ie. it is not required by the regulations) however it does have many benefits for the food industry and its consumers.

The following are some of them:

  • GFSI certification ensures that your product is safe to eat as it meets international standards of quality and safety, which is important for you as a manufacturer or seller in the global market;
  • For consumers, you can assure them that their food will be safe to eat because you have been certified according to international standards;
  • This also helps protect against counterfeiting since they know they are buying original products from reputable companies;

Is GFSI Certification Mandatory?

  • GFSI Certification is not a law.
  • There are no regulations that require GFSI certification.
  • GFSI is a voluntary food safety initiative and there are no legal or regulatory requirements for complying with the standard.

Why do some companies seek GFSI Certification?

GFSI Certification is a means for companies to demonstrate how they manage food safety. To become GFSI certified, a company must first have a food safety management system in place and then seek certification by one of the recognized bodies that offer the accreditation (e.g., BRC or IFS). Once certified, companies assure their customers that they are doing what is necessary to ensure the manufacturing of safe food products. In addition, they show their suppliers that they know what is needed to be globally competitive and efficient with multiple buyers.

Need help obtaining your GFSI certification or doing an audit.

Which Audits are considered Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Recognized?

GFSI Recognized standards include:

  • FSSC 22000
  • SQF Code Edition 8
  • BRC Global Standard for Food Safety
  • BRC-IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials
  • IFS Version 6
  • CanadaGAP
  • Global Red Meat Standard (GRMS)
  • PrimusGFS Standard
  • IFS PACsecure Version 1
  • IFS Logistics Version 2.1

What is a GFSI Benchmarking Audit Scheme?

The GFSI Benchmarking Audit Scheme is a program that allows you to compare your food safety management system with other companies. You can then benchmark your food safety management system against the best practices of other companies and use this information to improve your food safety management system.

Achieving Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certification

GFSI Certification is not mandatory. It is not the only way to achieve food safety, nor is it required by any government agency anywhere in the world. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification process requires you to meet a series of requirements that are specific to your company while demonstrating your commitment to quality management systems.

To become GFSI certified, companies need to:

  1. Select a standard to become certified to
  2. Get trained on the requirements
  3. Implement a food safety management system and document your processes.
  4. Be audited by a certification body to receive your certification

Compliance and Market Advantages:

GFSI Certified Standards not only help ensure that a company is compliant with applicable food safety regulations and requirements but also provide many market advantages. By demonstrating a commitment to GFSI Certified Standards, businesses can attract new customers and open up new markets due to the reputation associated with certification. Additionally, certification can result in fewer product recalls, quicker responses to customer complaints, and lower costs associated with premium freight rates or insurance premiums.

Improved Manufacturing Procedures:

GFSI Certified Standards are in place to ensure that food safety meets the highest possible standards. As such, they require companies to adhere to improved manufacturing procedures, employ protocols like HACCP plans, and ensure that their facilities are constantly monitored to meet any updates or changes in industry standards. This helps to prevent potential breaches in protocol and ensures that all parties involved remain compliant.

Increased Consumer Confidence:

By securing GFSI certification, food producers can demonstrate their adherence to the highest safety standards possible. This increased level of trust helps to build consumer confidence and also gives retailers peace of mind knowing that they are providing safe and healthy products to their customers. Furthermore, certifications can help producers differentiate themselves in the marketplace, making it simpler for buyers to differentiate between certified-aligned or non-certified companies.


At the end of the day, it all comes down to food safety. If you are interested in starting a new business or expanding an existing one, then we can help you achieve GFSI certification. It will give your business an edge over others by proving its commitment to quality control and ensuring that all products meet international standards for both safety and quality assurance.

How can Quality Smart Solutions serve you?

Firstly, QSS can help with formula review, product labeling, and nutrition facts creation (for Canada and the USA).

Secondly, we can also help with registering supplemented foods with TMALs (Temporary Market Authorization License) or reviewing when the new Supplemented Food Regulations are published. 

Thirdly, we help with Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (HACCP, PCP, Import Licensing, and GRAS Notifications). 

Help with facility registration, FSVP agent, and US Agent. 

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