Source: GFSI/PR Newswire

Never before has the annual GFSI China Focus Day, now in its fifth edition, enjoyed such extensive support from national government in addition to the broad engagement from the private sector. This year marks the first-ever joint event with the newly-established China Food Safety Initiative (CFSI), which has benefited from the engagement of top local and global brands, as well as China national agencies including the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA) and the China Nutrition and Health Food Association(CNHFA) - onboard with CFSI to drive food safety forward collaboratively.

Significant breakthroughs, notably thanks to recent partnerships launched with the CNCA, CNHFA, and UNIDO in China have set the stage for GFSI to accelerate growth via its CFSI branch, making it the place to address food safety challenges on the ground in the China context. This two-day event, gathering 300 top food safety executives from China and the rest of the world, has mirrored the dynamism and priorities of GFSI for this key region.

Private Sector Efforts Bolstered by Public Collaboration
GFSI is delighted to see this surge of public engagement boosting ongoing industry efforts. The speaker line-up testified to the continued private sector commitment, with national Chairs of international companies like Cargill, Danone, Walmart, Carrefour, McDonalds, Aeon, Metro, Hershey onsite, as well as the Heads of Chinese companies New Hope Liuhe, Beijing Hualian, China Resources Vanguard Co., Ltd and COFCO. GFSI Board members have also convened in testimony to the importance of local efforts to global strategy.

This collective powerhouse assembled under the conviction that everyone has a right to safe food, and the belief that food safety is a noncompetitive issue which requires collaboration to achieve. The Focus Day Programme reflected the priorities set for CFSI: continuous improvement in food safety standards, audits and capability building, ultimately enabling mutual recognition within the industry and improving consumer trust in the safety of food they serve their families on a daily basis.

Harnessing the Power of Collective Action
To address top food safety issues, CFSI has harnessed the power of 40 local and global companies operating in China and their one hundred representatives who have committed to dedicating their time on a volunteer basis to participate in the CFSI's work streams.

The China Focus Day programme has reflected these priority issues, with dedicated sessions on certification, capability building and auditor competence. Yesterday and today, speakers have zoomed in on topics such as certification to a GFSI-recognised scheme, China HACCP and auditor competence. They have also discussed food safety capability building with the GFSI Global Markets Programme, a roadmap to safer food and market access. Delegates heard implementation success stories and best practice for training, for training trainers and for equipping food operators with scientific capabilities.

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