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Maple Leaf Foods requiring all suppliers to become certified to GFSI standards


October 20, 2015
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Oct. 20, 2015 – Maple Leaf Foods has announced that the company 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,” said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods.

The company made the announcement at its 7th Annual Maple Leaf Food Safety Symposium, which was co-hosted by GFSI for the first time. The event serves as a knowledge exchange and networking opportunity to share experiences on food safety management. This year’s event drew close to 400 delegates from local and global companies.

“We commend Maple Leaf for extending this requirement across its supply chain,” said 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 begin to expect all new meat and ingredient suppliers to meet this standard, with all existing meat and ingredient suppliers reaching this standard, starting in 2017.

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GFSI is an industry-driven initiative providing thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain. The organization’s goal is to promote a harmonized approach to managing food safety across the food industry world-wide.

Maple Leaf Foods is a Canadian consumer protein company, with national brands including Maple Leaf, Maple Leaf Prime, Maple Leaf Natural Selections, Schneiders, and Schneiders Country Naturals. The Mississauga, Ont., company employs approximately 12,000 people across Canada and exports to global markets, including the U.S. and Asia.