Partnership Interview: Rick Gilmore, Chairman of the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF)
We’d like to take a moment to introduce one of our partners here at FDAImports.com, the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF), a 501(c)(3) focused on establishing dialogue, training, and private-public collaboration in all areas of food safety, imports and the food supply chain. Founded and managed by GIC Group President/CEO and Chairman of GFSF, Rick Gilmore, GFSF creates key opportunities between the U.S. and China such as training events, workshops, delegation visits, consulting services, and research projects. We recently asked Mr. Gilmore some questions that we thought would highlight the unique GFSF vision and wanted to share his responses here.
What’s unique about GFSF?
We provide a training, transaction, and problem-solving platform for industry to work with regulatory agencies and counterpart food safety organizations in China and other Asian markets. Our main focus is on providing technical assistance through the expertise of member companies and our partners to introduce risk minimization operating systems at the company level, reconciliation of standards, and securing modes of seamless global transactions in the trade of feed and food products.
Is your focus mostly on China?
At present, that is correct, but we look to expand to other countries in Asia.
What one word would you use to describe the import/export climate between China and the United States right now?
Improvement. China has made impressive strides in food safety from a legal and commercial standpoint. However, given the size and complexity of the private sector on the supply side, there remains much to be done to achieve the compliance necessary for domestic market sales as well as for servicing foreign markets under tough, new regulations in the US, the EU, and Japan.
How have you seen companies benefit from using GFSF and your services?
Our members have maximized the advantages of the GFSF platform to develop new strategic alliances and commercial relationships with Chinese counterpart companies. Through GFSF, they have also been able to shortcut the bureaucratic obstacles in reaching the right regulatory authorities in China to address food safety problems. GFSF also offers longer-term advantages in allowing our members to promote products and services that have the brand of quality and reliability, and that meet international food safety standards. That’s our goal and that’s our success.
What excites you about where you see GFSF going and some of the opportunities up ahead?
We’ve made significant strides and take great pride in the fact that our efforts have achieved considerable recognition in official and private circles in China. We also have hosted a number of events and delegation visits that have been very successful and duly recognized by the government of China.
What is one interesting trend you see regarding U.S./China relations in the area of food imports?
There is decidedly a greater level of collaboration at the government and private sector level. And in light of budgetary constraints for enforcement of FSMA, there is certainly the additional value of using NGO’s like GFSF to leverage resources in the promotion of global food safety.
Contact GFSF at 703-684-1366 or www.globalsafefood.org