CEOs of global companies came together at The Consumer Goods Forum (CIES at the time) and agreed that consumer trust needed to be strengthened and maintained through a safer supply chain. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was launched as a non-profit making foundation in 2000, to achieve this through the harmonization of food safety standards that would drive reduce audit duplication throughout the supply chain by developing a model that determines equivalency between existing food safety schemes, whilst leaving flexibility and choice in the marketplace.
Today, The Global Food Safety Initiative collaborates with international food safety experts from the entire food supply chain at Technical Working Group and Stakeholder meetings, conferences and regional events to share knowledge and promote a harmonized approach to managing food safety across the industry. GFSI is managed by an industry-driven GFSI Board of Directors and supported by The Consumer Goods Forum Board of Directors, with particular support from Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO, Kraft Foods and Bill McEwan, President & CEO, Sobeys Inc.
The Global Food Safety Initiative endorses food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification by certain international organizations through the SQF Program. The SQF Program is administered by the SQF Institute (SQFI), a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and is the result of more than 15 years of development. The certification program includes two standards – SQF 1000 and SQF 2000.
SQF 1000 or “Safe Quality Food” is universally recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world who require a rigorous, credible food safety management system. Using the SQF 1000 certification program reduces assessment inconsistencies and costs of multiple assessment standards.
Being compliant with SQF demonstrates the supplier’s commitment to:
- Produce safe and quality food
- Comply with the requirements of the SQF code
- Comply with applicable food legislation
The SQF 2000 Code is a (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) HACCP-based food safety and quality management program designed primarily for the food processing and food manufacturing sector. The SQF 2000 Code is divided into three certification levels. Each level indicates the stage of development of a Supplier’s food safety and quality management system.
- Level 1 Food Safety Fundamentals
- Level 2 Certified HACCP Food Safety Plans
- Level 3 Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System
SQF certification is supported and in many cases mandated by an increasing number of international retailers and foodservice providers, and the SQF Program is part of a landmark agreement among seven global retailers on mutual acceptance of global food safety systems.