Two presentations from day two of the GFSI Global Food Safety Conference in London made it clear this morning that developing a food safety culture is directly tied to effective management systems. Professor Chris Griffiths from South Africa and Land O' Lakes USA Vice-President, Sara Mortimore delivered excellent, engaging presentations that addressed food safety, culture and management systems. Chris Griffith stated, "Food Safety culture is fast emerging as global risk factor."
He went on to say, "Operational food safety performance is direclty linked to two things, 1) management systems and 2) culture."
Sara Mortimore gave the best presentation that I seen so far, mixing humour, relevant case studies and facts to get several very important points across to the 700 plus delegates at the London Park Plaza Hotel. She started of with, "Corporate and national culture drive the food safety culture at any location." She went on to talk about "A successful Food Safety culture will not happen by accident, it needs to be designed and nurtured."
One of Sara Mortimore's mini-case studies was the famous Peanut Corporation example out of the USA. Her conclusion was clear, organisations need to shift from a snapshot in time approach to managing their food safety management systems towards one that addresses processes and systems.
Mortimore also cited examples of local and national culture shaping the way organisational culture is interpreted in different locations. Examples from China, Japan, the USA, the UK and India provided the audience with a very interesting picture of local culture and food safety.
A final point from the Land O' Lakes VP was that food safety incidents can negatively impact the image of the country of origin. The cases of melamine in milk and the impact that has had on consumer trust in food products from China and the fear of British meat after the BSE scare were used to back up her point.
Overall, her presentation was excellent, bringing the conference theme of developing a food safety culture to life.
The rest of today and tomorrow morning are set to deliver more highlights.
We are at the event in London (16th February - 18th February) which is one of the biggest global food safety conferences.
You can find out more about LRQA's food month activities at www.food.lrqa.com
Read the previous blog and listen to the 'food month' podcasts