It’s said that there is no competitive advantage when it comes to food safety — or at least, there should be no competitive advantage. Baking industry veteran Len Heflich, president, Innovation for Success, is starting to have second thoughts about that saying, especially with those companies that comply with the Food Safety Management Act (FSMA) through Global Food Safety Initiative (G.F.S.I.)-certified programs.
“With all the rules and regulations today, that’s all changed,” he recently told Baking & Snack. “If you have an operation that’s run better and more in control when it comes to food safety, that’s a competitive advantage.”
Complying with FSMA can be a challenge, especially when it comes to ensuring that vendors — especially all international ingredient suppliers — comply with the law’s regulations.
“FSMA doesn’t say exactly how to do that, so it’s up to the industry to figure it out,” Mr. Heflich said. “It’s pretty sketchy at the moment.”
That’s where G.F.S.I. certification can help. In addition to ideally reducing the number of audits, the initiative establishes a standard that the entire food industry must eventually attain.
“G.F.S.I. audits didn’t exist 20 years ago and were rare 10 years ago,” Mr. Heflich recalled. “The whole idea is to have the entire supply chain certified. It’s driving food safety globally. By setting food safety standards, it’s making life easier for everybody.”
Making life easier: That’s an added bonus when it comes to ensuring food safety.