Sustainability is the other name for quality

“Sustainability is the other name of quality,” said our CEO, Jerome Peribere, when he addressed guests at our customer dinner in Anaheim in California, during the recent Global Food Safety Conference.

I had the honor of hosting Diversey Care and Hygiene Care clients, along with Jerome and Karl Deily. More than 70 customers and several non-customers attended our evening event at the Bowers Museum.

Diversey Care has been a partner and a sponsor of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) since 14 years ago. GFSI is an organization devoted to reducing food safety risks, improving hygiene security, managing cost in the global food system, developing capacity building in food safety and providing a platform for collaboration and networking.

Each year, the conference attracts trade and research associations, top journalists, well-known manufacturers, restaurants, retailers, service providers and producers, and regulation, certification and accreditation bodies. And when such a large mix of professionals get together, there’s bound to be memorable and inspiring discussions about food safety. Over the course of three days, we met with top global retailers who are leading in the food safety arena, and global, leading Food and Beverages companies.

One of the biggest highlights during the conference was that our Diversey Consulting team, led by Catherine François, released the preliminary results of a study conducted in collaboration with GFSI that explores the efficacy and business impact of the implementation of GFSI recognized schemes. The study included 834 food manufacturers across 21 countries and suggests that through involvement with GFSI, organizations can make an impact on food safety and quality, compliance, customer and employee satisfaction and revenue.

The primary push behind implementing a GFSI recognized scheme was to meet an existing or new customer requirement. A large majority of survey respondents declared that certification against a GFSI recognized scheme enhanced their ability to produce safe food.

I had the honor to address the 1100 participants and I shared the following:
“The biggest challenge for you and us is ensuring that the food we deliver to consumers around the world is safe and that the hygiene standards behind are robust. There should be zero tolerance for food contamination, just the same way we tackle ethics compliance in our corporations.”

At our breakfast session on Thurs. Feb. 27, Carolyn Rose, Director of Research & Strategy with Insight Product Development, Joe Smithwick, Retail Food Safety Manager at Target, and Dr. Benjamin Chapman of North Carolina State University discussed how using ethnography can reveal whether food safety best practices are being implemented by employees and managers, as well as challenges they face in their everyday tasks. Ethnography consists of observation and interviews in natural environments. With this knowledge, we can improve how we approach food storage, handling and preparation in order to maximize food safety.

Later that day, Sealed Air’s Food Care Global Sector Expert, Hein Timmerman, and Diversey Consulting’s Global Director, Catherine Francois, moderated a breakout session that covered innovative ways of preventing and detecting food contamination. One strategy for minimizing food safety risks is to apply hygienic design principles when designing food manufacturing and processing facilities. The session also covered novel ways of environmental testing and HACCP implementation and maintenance.

Overall, it was a great conference and we look forward to contributing to next year’s event, as well as developing innovations and services that will help organizations improve food safety around the world. I invite you to see all photos and live social media discussions we conducted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.