Guest Column | March 14, 2017

Ensuring Confidence In GFSI: Maintaining Value And Credibility Of Benchmarked Schemes

By John Kukoly, BRC Americas

In early March, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel discussion with several GFSI stakeholders, representing all aspects of the GFSI certification process. The panel was moderated by Neil Marshall, global director of quality & safety strategy policy and programs at Coca-Cola; and Chris Lomauro, quality manager at General Mills. Our conversation rotated around this scenario: a brand owner found an issue with a supplier who has been previously audited and certified to a GFSI benchmarked program.

Speakers included Rosalind Zils of Land O’ Lakes (the ingredient supplier), Brent Brehmer of Hormel Foods (the manufacturer using the supplied ingredient), and Cindy Jiang of McDonald’s (brand owner/customer). Rounding out the stakeholders were myself, Kathy Wybourn of DNV GL (certification body), and Reinaldo Figueiredo of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) (accreditation body).

In the food industry, we have all heard these stories of not being satisfied with a supplier:

“I went to audit one of our suppliers and, although they were audited by… or certified to… they were terrible…”

“I found critical issues and there were significant problems…”

“It just wasn’t up to the standard of their certification and it did not meet our expectations…”

And so on…

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