Global Food Safety (GFSI) Certification for the Packaging Industry

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process

In 2000, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was founded with the goal of continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure the delivery of safe food to consumers. Seven years later, major retailers began specifying and/or accepting third-party certification of their food suppliers to GFSI benchmarked standards.

This sparked an influx of suppliers seeking GFSI certification, which has been cascaded further down the supply chain to include packaging and packaging materials manufacturers.

Today, many companies in the packaging sector are undertaking GFSI certification to help ensure food safety and brand protection as well as to secure new business opportunities for customers specifying GFSI-certified packaging suppliers.

To begin your GFSI packaging certification, contact NSF at +1 877.893.1325 or email foodsafetysolutions@nsf.org.

Benefits of Certification

NSF International is accredited to certify to all three GFSI recognized packaging standards:

  • BRC Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials (GFSI benchmarked)
  • SQF for packaging
  • FSSC 22000/PAS 223 for packaging

Third-party certification to GFSI packaging standards demonstrates a manufacturer’s strong commitment to safe manufacturing materials and processes. It distinguishes the “upper echelon” of packaging suppliers and separates industry leaders from industry followers.

Why Work With NSF?

NSF International is the leading global certifier to GFSI benchmarked standards, with exceptional technical expertise, consistently calibrated auditors and capacity for a timely path to certification. Backed by nearly 70 years of food safety expertise and a current average of 35,000 annual GFSI certifications, we enable packaging and packaging materials manufacturers around the globe to demonstrate compliance to the world’s highest food safety standards.

NSF is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), and has a worldwide network of highly skilled and experienced auditors to help organizations of all sizes implement complex food safety solutions.

Certification Process

Certification to a GFSI packaging standard takes an average of six months, depending on a facility’s level of readiness. The process follows these basic steps:

  • Your company selects a GFSI standard.
  • You apply to NSF for certification.
  • You identify training needs/receive training.
  • You perform a self-assessment of compliance with the standard.
  • NSF conducts an optional pre-assessment (gap analysis).
  • We perform a desk audit.
  • We perform an onsite certification audit and identify corrective actions.
  • The facility addresses corrective actions.
  • We verify/approve corrective actions.
  • We issue the certificate.

To maintain certification, companies must re-certify every year under most GFSI standards.

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