This month marks the 20th annual GFSI Conference and for the first time ever the event is scheduled to be a virtual gathering. The interactive three-day forum will see hundreds of experts from 60 countries meet online to share food safety best practices.

Attendees of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Conference are set to meet March 23 to 25 with the theme “Rethink, Reset, Recharge.” Ticket prices range from €299 to €599 excluding VAT ($356 to $714) for registrations until March 18 and rise after this date.

The conference agenda includes COVID-19, supply chain disruption and public health, building trust and transparency with consumers, best practices, and technologies for the future food safety.

Building consumer trust
Speakers include industry experts and academics, CEOs, public authorities, and grassroots professionals.

Representatives from Amazon, HelloFresh, The Coca-Cola Co., Mars Inc., Cargill, Target, PepsiCo, Walmart, Queen’s University Belfast, Georgia University of Technology, and the World Health Organization are among the scheduled presenters.

Erica Sheward, director of the GFSI, said food safety is everyone’s business, and it is important to work together to build consumers’ trust in the food they buy.

“Collaboration to ensure safe food for consumers everywhere and sustainable food systems has never been more critical — and this event provides a major opportunity to learn from an unprecedented period and move forwards in the best possible way,” she said.

GFSI has set up online networking features to help attendees establish new connections and strengthen existing relationships. Attendees will be able to create personalized virtual versions of themselves, which they can move around a 3D site.

The event also includes sessions such as “Ask GFSI” panels on the final day, for the first time giving attendees the chance to pose questions for the GFSI leadership.

GFSI, part of the Consumer Goods Forum, was created by industry in 2000 to find solutions to collective problems, such as reducing food safety risks, audit duplication, and costs while building trust in the supply chain.

World Food Safety Day webinar
GFSI has also scheduled a webinar with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Codex Alimentarius on the role of public-private partnerships in global food safety.

The one-hour webinar set for March 11 will explore the importance of the third World Food Safety Day scheduled for June 7, 2021.

Speakers include Sheward; Markus Lipp, senior food safety officer at FAO; Sarah Cahill, senior food standards officer, Codex Secretariat; Maria Virginia Siebenrok, head of food safety and quality at the WFP; and Anne Gerardi, GFSI senior project manager, The Consumer Goods Forum.

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