GFSI and DGN Establish the First Mexican Voluntary Norm on Food Safety

MEXICO CITY and PARIS, 26th July 2018 – The Mexican Federation Official Journal (Diario Oficial de la Federación) published the first voluntary norm on food safety for Mexico on 5th July 2018, after a public consultation during the spring of 2018. The norm is the result of a project during an 18-month collaboration between the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the Mexico Ministry of Economy, General Direction of Standards (Dirección General de Normas – DGN). The project aimed to establish guidelines for the certification of programmes and development of private food safety systems recognised by GSFI. GFSI’s Mexico Local Group coordinated the public-private project, with the support of the National University (UNAM), and other interested groups.

GFSI Public-Private Partnerships

As the food network becomes more globalised and interconnected, there has been a shift towards greater transparency and integrity as consumers are increasingly conscious of issues of food safety and traceability. With this has come the realisation that a safer and more efficient food supply chain cannot be built without the support of local and national public partners. By utilising collective resources, industry stakeholders and governments can work more effectively together to ensure that there are safeguards in place along the entire value chain, from the beginning to the consumer at the end.

With the understanding that this cannot be done alone, GFSI has made it a priority to foster public-private partnerships (PPPs) between private companies, government food safety regulators, and intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) in order to harmonise global food safety regulations and reduce barriers to trade. By stimulating dialogue and joint programmes between public and private sectors, GFSI is working to advance food safety worldwide while building consumer trust and increasing industry efficiency.

Pleased with the outcome on the GFSI-DGN collaboration, GFSI Director, Veronique Discours-Buhot, said, “Governments have seen that closer partnerships provide them with access to private sector know-how and best practices. This project shows that governments are able to benefit from GFSI’s food safety capability-building expertise and core curriculum”.

A Collaborative Process

GFSI has been the main interlocutor from the private sector to develop the norm with the Ministry of Economy DGN, whose main function is to create mandatory and voluntary standards that respond to economic and social needs. The project was supported by the expertise of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico.

Luis Hernandez, Upstream Supply Chain Corporate Quality Manager for Nestlé, chairman of GFSI Mexico Local Group and leader of this project, declared that the project would provide guidance for companies with underdeveloped food safety systems by “helping them to address their food safety challenges while simultaneously reducing hazards in global food supply chains and improving market access through certification via GFSI’s recognised certification programme owners (CPOs)”. Hernandez added, “It’s an opportunity for greater alignment between private and public approaches, improved regulatory efficiencies, and trade-promoting activities in Mexico and all over the world”.

Satisfied with level of engagement by GSFI and the Mexican government in developing the norm, Chair of GFSI Board of Directors, Mike Roach, said, “I am proud to see the growing dialogue GFSI is leading. This kind of public-private collaboration is unprecedented. It’s very rare to see this level of government support for private and public sector collaboration”.

Click here to access the published norm in the Mexican Federation Official Journal.