Mississauga, Ont.-based Maple Leaf Foods has announced that it will require all of its protein, ingredient and packaging suppliers to become food safety certified to a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard in 2017.
“We committed to certifying our operations to GFSI-benchmarked standards five years ago, and extending this commitment across our supply chain is an important and appropriate next step in our food safety leadership,” says Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods.
The announcement was made at the company’s 7th Annual Maple Leaf Food Safety Symposium. The event was co-hosted by GFSI, which is an industry-driven initiative that provides thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain.
“We commend Maple Leaf for extending this requirement across its supply chain,” says Karil Kochenderfer, GFSI North American Representative. “Given the company’s prominence in the market, we see this as an important move to raise the bar even higher and give consumers greater confidence in the safety of the food they enjoy.”
Maple Leaf’s manufacturing facilities were certified to a GFSI-recognized scheme by 2011, and all of its co-manufacturing partners were required to achieve this by 2012. In 2016, the company will start expecting all new meat and ingredient suppliers to meet this standard, with all existing meat and ingredient suppliers reaching this standard starting in 2017.