This year’s annual GFSI conference took place in person (in Barcelona), for the first time in two years. The event, which focused on the theme of sustainability, welcomed more than 600 food safety professionals and stakeholders.
“I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that after a life-changing pandemic, GFSI has managed to bring us together for a face-to-face, handshake-to-handshake, smile-behind-the-mask, non-Zoom event,” said The Consumer Goods Forum’s GFSI Director Erica Sheward during her opening speech.
During day one of the event, stakeholders discussed the responsibility of the food industry to help people who are affected by humanitarian crises, more effective food safety capability building to address supply chain challenges, and GFSI’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (no poverty, zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, and responsible consumption and production). The conversation around food safety capability building also delved into challenges for emerging markets as well as small-to-medium sized organizations in developing economies that want to join the global market.
Day two addressed GFSI’s strategic priorities, including the organization’s Benchmarking Requirements for Professional Recognition Bodies. Experts also talked about data sharing between public and private sectors, and the importance of technology to enhance company operations—not replace humans and their expertise.
The final day of the GFSI conference featured discussions around how to reach sustainability goals and the involvement of food safety regulations and other legislative components, as well as the need for sustainability initiatives to be accessible and affordable in order to have a global impact.
GFSI compiled a full review of the event in its Executive Summary, which is available on the organization’s website.