“Audits not only show the level of compliance, but they also make best practices visible” says LRQA’s Cor Groenveld on the final day of CIFSQ

"Today is the second day of the annual China International Food Safety & Quality Conference (CIFSQ).

The agenda included several break out sessions and in one of them Chen Zhong, the Quality and Food Safety Director from Mars Chocolate China and I presented on how the Mars customised audit program drives food safety and quality across their supply chain. This audit programme is developed in cooperation between Mars and LRQA around the Mars Quality Management Programme and the Mars global standards. The audits not only show the level of compliance, but they also make best practices visible and provide high level management reporting on strengths and weaknesses.

Another session was on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), introduced by Yves Rey, chairman of the GFSI Board of Directors. Zaotin Wan, Vice President of COFCO Group - one of the largest and highly respected food manufacturers in China - spoke about the implementation of the GFSI approach in China. He stated that China needs the GFSI approach and expressed that good achievements are being made. He also shared how COFCO has implemented GFSI certification across their sites.

Other presentations came from Karen Smedley, Supplier Quality Manager from Coca Cola about the GFSI capacity building program where food organisations can reach GFSI recognised certification level in 2 years. Another important presentation came from Mark Overland, Director Global Certification, Cargill. He spoke about the importance of auditor competency in relation to the integrity of the audits. For more information on the GFSI approach and their projects visit www.mygfsi.com

There were many more presentations and in a few weeks the slides will be available on the conference website: www.chinafoodsafety.com

This has been a great conference with around 700 delegates and co-incides the conclusion of my business trip to Japan and China. These are fascinating countries with great people and where food safety and quality is clearly at the top of the agenda. LRQA’s technical expertise in the food sector means that we are well placed to meet the growing demands for independent third party certification from food organisations across China, Japan and beyond."

For more information on LRQA’s food services, please visit www.food.lrqa.com or connect with Cor on LinkedIn - nl.linkedin.com/in/corgroenveld