The Board of Directors of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) on Dec. 20 announced that the IFS PACsecure Standard Version 1 has been successfully benchmarked by GFSI and has achieved recognition against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition. The IFS PACsecure Standard has been recognized against the M Production of Food Packaging scope.

IFS PACsecure is a Standard for the assessment of packaging material manufacturers and converters in terms of safety and quality. It is the result of the cooperation between IFS Management GmbH — an international standards development organization — and The Packaging Association of Canada. It is a product/process certification which checks the safety of packaging materials and the compliance with customer requirements.

The GFSI Benchmark Committee was led by Vince Craig, managing director at Meadowbrae Technical Services Ltd, who was joined by Cloeann Durham, senior director of quality assurance, The Coca-Cola Company, Monika Huber, food packaging safety expert, Mondelez International, Lars G Karlsson, global expert in food safety, Tetra Pak, Elizabeth Wilks, European director for stakeholder and sustainability engagement, Asia Pulp and Paper, and Petro Zapata, quality assurance manager, YUM! Brands. As per the GFSI Guidance Document 6th Edition, five Benchmark Committee Members are required for the benchmarking of a new scheme.

Over the course of the benchmarking process, the GFSI Benchmark Committee compared the requirements for food safety scheme ownership, management and supporting systems outlined in the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition against the detailed documentation and objective evidence provided by the IFS PACsecure Standard for each requirement. This process comprised numerous exchanges of documents until the Benchmark Committee were satisfied that the requirements outlined in the Guidance Document had been met and that the requirements contained in the IFS PACsecure documentation were equivalent. Once reviewed by the Benchmark Committee, the application was released to over 9000 GFSI stakeholders for a one?month global consultation to ensure transparency throughout the process.

Stephan Tromp, managing director of IFS, commented, “IFS Management, along with our partners at The Packaging Association (PAC), is very pleased with the successful benchmarking result of the IFS PACsecure Standard. We sincerely appreciate the work of the GFSI benchmarking committee, the technical staff, and the GFSI Board of Directors throughout the benchmarking process.”

Cenk Gurol, president of AEON Global SCM, group chief SCM officer of AEON, and vice-chair of the GFSI Board, commented, “The Board is delighted that this first ‘new scheme’ benchmark against the GFSI Guidance Document 6th Edition has gone so smoothly. We are committed to providing a healthy selection of effective food safety management schemes extending across the food supply chain, and this benchmark allows us to expand the options for the packaging sector."