Stakeholder Engagement and Developing a Food Safety Culture Highlight Day One of 2012 GFSI Conference

Over 900 delegates from 47 countries discussed food safety, collaboration across the food supply chain and management systems on day one of the GFSI Food Safety Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Frank Yiannis, Vice President - Food Safety at Walmart and Yves Rey, Corporate Quality General Manager at Groupe Danone were the stars of day with their double act to open the plenary session. Frank made a strong case for replacing the food supply chain with the food network, citing the complexities facing food manufacturers, retailers and suppliers. Their joint presentation highlighted both the differences and similarities that organisations and their supply network partners share.

The opening meeting, the GFSI stakeholder session, featured updates from the different GFSI working groups. Bill McBride's update on the auditor competency working group supported LRQA's position that auditor competency is at the heart of developing a robust food safety culture. Bill's presentation led to a workshop that offered GFSI stakeholders the opportunity to voice their opinions on the path that auditor competency should take. A podcast of Bill's opening address on auditor competency is also available here.

Clear on day one was that the GFSI and their key stakeholders are dedicated to three things; 1) harmonising global standards, 2)increasing the focus on technically competent auditors and 3) collaboration across the global food supply network.

A very good start to the most important food safety conference of 2012.