What is GFSI certification and why is it important?
According to The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), around the world, an estimated 600 million people – almost 1 in 10 – fall ill after eating contaminated food each year. Keeping food safe during manufacturing and distribution is a top priority throughout the supply chain, not only for human consumption but for the pets that are important parts of our lives and that we love dearly.
GFSI is a coalition of retailers and manufacturers of food and food packaging materials that is focused on assuring that food products are safe for handling and consumption.
GFSI brings together food safety experts from around the world and across the supply chain to identify the best management practices for promoting food safety throughout the industry. Regional food safety practices or those adopted by a given sector are integrated into the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, against which existing food safety management certification programs are benchmarked. Certification programs that meet these GFSI performance thresholds are said to be “GFSI-Recognized”.
As a manufacturer of bags and other materials that can be used to transport and package human- and pet-consumable food, Anduro is fully committed to the requirements and benchmarking espoused by GFSI. In fact, we have been operating under the guidelines of GFSI for several years now and are well on our way to formal GFSI certification within the next year.
Currently, Anduro operates and is fully auditable to GFSI Standards, recognizing that we are within the requirements, but full certification will come as a natural progression as we move into a more suitable facility in 2023.
What are the steps to certification?
Before being fully certified, a company such as Anduro would need to be found in compliance with GFSI’s Benchmarking Requirements for Professional Recognition Bodies, launched in November 2021. These requirements help auditors demonstrate their competence to the food safety certification eco-system through a single registration to a GFSI-recognized Professional Recognition Body of their choice, eliminating the needs for redundant verifications.
Anduro will be requesting GFSI certification through the SQF Institute, under the Food safety code: Manufacture of Food Packaging.
The GFSI Benchmarking process is now the most widely recognized safety guideline in the food industry worldwide and is benefiting businesses around the world while also supporting the future of food safety auditors.
GFSI does not provide food safety certification, rather, it recognizes several certification programs that meet the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. Retailers and other buyers around the world trust GFSI-recognized certification as a mark of the highest standards in food safety, allowing food businesses that hold these certificates to access all corners of the global market.
In order to achieve GFSI-recognized certification, companies must not only invest in compliant infrastructure modifications and adhere to very stringent manufacturing processes and standards but must also successfully undergo a thorough third-party audit against a program operated by a GFSI-recognized certification program owner (CPO).
What’s next for Anduro’s GFSI certification process?
As of October 2022, Anduro is not yet certified but has begun the process of being audited in preparation for possible certification.
Because full certification could possibly require some changes in our current manufacturing plant, we are holding off on requesting official GFSI certification until our new manufacturing facility is up and running in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in late 2023.
Until that time, we will continue to adhere to the guidelines that are required of GFSI as well as regularly implement manufacturing processes that have been audited in the past year. And we will continue to update this website on our process toward requesting GFSI certification.