In a press conference at this week’s Global Food Safety Conference, an unprecedented public/private partnership was announced between the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Mexico's National Service of Health, Food Safety & Agro-Food Quality (SENASICA), the Mexican government agency responsible for the safety of fresh and minimally processed food products. The two entities will sign a letter of intent next week in Mexico City, Mexico, to highlight their commitment to this collaboration.
For the growth of the third-party, private certification as well as mandatory regulation, SENASICA has lead efforts among producers, buyers, state governments and private certification schemes to work towards the ensuring that fresh products are safe. Accredited third-party, private certification is an important part of the global food safety supply chain system, and it is increasingly used by the industry to achieve the GFSI vision of safe food for consumers everywhere.
Within this context, GFSI and SENASICA have developed a partnership that will allow them to fulfill their common goal of providing continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. This partnership and collaboration will be enhanced next week with the signing of the letter of intent, which will focus on two aspects:
- Enabling private schemes to act under Mexico's regulation, in addition to the certification of the official scheme, which will significantly increase the volume of officially certified products and subsequently ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide, and
- GFSI and SENASICA working closely together on the enhancement of the Global Markets Program in Mexico.
The intent behind this partnership is to strengthen the collaboration between the public and the private sectors to develop the basis for a mutual understanding, which will drive global change through public/private partnerships on strategic food safety issues as well as improve harmonization between public and private requirements to promote compliance with food safety practices, preserved identity and quality assurance of the products that are exported and distributed in the national territory of Mexico and worldwide.
GFSI and SENASICA hope that this partnership between public and private entities will act as a model for others countries, encouraging them to adopt third-party certification within their own contexts in order to enable the harmonization of food safety systems and requirements worldwide for the benefit of producers and consumers.