LRQA at the GFSI Conference: Breakout Session Recap

Now in its thirteenth year, the GFSI Global Food Safety Conference is a unique annual event bringing together over 950 leading food safety specialists from over 50 countries to advance Food Safety globally. The Conference provides the opportunity to meet and network with industry peers, share knowledge, benefit from thought-provoking presentations from internationally reputed industry experts and hear innovative ideas to implement in your workplace. With the conclusion of the final day, Cor Groenveld recaps on the breakout session which provided visitors to the conference with insight into the certification process from assessment to auditor competency.

“This is the second day of the GFSI Global Food Safety Conference here in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s again beautiful weather here, you can hear the birds singing, it’s always beautiful weather I think.

Today we had a very, very interesting session together with two other certification bodies, and we explained the audit process especially with reference to GFSI recognised certification. And I think in Asia and Malaysia that is very good information because there is still a lot of work to do here. I think food companies are already taking responsibility, large retailers and large international food companies already having certification, but still a lot of their suppliers also need support.

So what we did is giving three parts of the audit process, first of all talking about auditor competency because the competency of the auditor is the most important element of the audit process.

We also explained how the audit process goes, starting by choosing a certification body, choosing the right GFSI recognised scheme and then going through the whole audit process together with the certification body until the certificate is issued, corrective actions are taken.

And the third part was about the benefits of certification, and I especially explained that and I what I said listen, the food safety management system needs to work for you as an organisation instead that you are working for the system, and that needs to be a measurable advantage of your certification and audits.

And it was well received, there were good questions, also questions ‘what does GFSI add to our organisation’, and we explained GFSI helps in harmonising and standardising the whole certification process and the standards, and also how we can ensure to have enough auditors here in Asia and I think that’s absolutely a concern and a challenge.

We have to work together. We have to collaborate with the industry to make sure that we have sufficient good quality auditors here in Asia, and I think that is a big responsibility where we as LRQA are absolutely investing.”

You can find out more about our presence at this year’s conference here. For more information about our food safety and supply chain services, please visit www.food.lrqa.com or email enquiries@lrqa.com.