The 2018 Global Food Safety Conference came to a successful close on 8th March, 2018 with a record number of delegates joining the event at The Grand Nikko Hotel in Tokyo, Japan. Organised by The Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), this was the first time for the event to be held in Japan, with more than 1,200 food industry delegates from 52 countries gathering to discuss the most important issues and trends in food safety. Technology, innovation and the future of food safety were key themes throughout the entire conference, with a number of key announcements made to encourage greater collaboration between government regulators and the private sector for the advancement of food safety.
Highlights included the release of the latest version of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, a set of documents outlining what makes a good food safety system and enabling the benchmarking of food safety certification programmes. Other announcements included a global partnership between GFSI and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as part of its strategy to strengthen public-private partnerships, as well as a strategic partnership with the Chilean food safety and quality agency, ACHIPIA, focusing on building food safety capacity in Chile facilities based on the GFSI’s Global Markets Programme.
Japan’s unprecedented support for GFSI locally and further afield was highlighted by an opening video message from Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who welcomed delegates and positioned the conference as a natural expression of Japan’s longstanding safeguards with food safety. The conference also featured presentations from CEOs of a number of local industry heavyweights such as AEON, Ajinomoto and Euglena, and was brought to a close with a presentation from Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency, Daichi Suzuki, who provided insights into the importance of food safety, particularly ahead of 2020 when Japan welcomes athletes and sports fans from around the world.
It was announced that the next instalment of the Global Food Safety Conference will be held in Nice, France in 2019.