Global Food Safety (GFSI) Certification for the Storage and Distribution Industry


In 2000, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was founded with the goal of continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure the delivery of safe food to consumers. Today, most major retailers require their suppliers to be certified to a GFSI benchmarked standard.

This has sparked an influx of suppliers seeking GFSI certification, which cascaded down the supply chain to include the food storage and distribution sector.

Today, forward-thinking food storage and distribution companies are undertaking GFSI certification to help ensure food safety and brand protection as well as to secure new business opportunities for customers specifying GFSI-certified supply chain partners.

To begin your GFSI certification, contact NSF at +86 21 52377700 or email

Benefits of Certification

Due to the complex challenges in today’s food supply chain, many of the world's largest food retailers are mandating certification to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) schemes at all levels of the supply chain.

Third-party certification to GFSI standards demonstrates a company’s strong commitment to safe operations and processes. It distinguishes the “upper echelon” and separates industry leaders from industry followers.

NSF International companies are accredited to certify to most GFSI standards including SQF, BRC and FSSC as well as IFS Food. We can also certify to the IFS Logistics standard, developed expressly for the storage and distribution sector. For more information about IFS Logistics, visit the NSF IFS web page.

Why Work With NSF?

NSF International is the leading global certifier to GFSI benchmarked standards, with exceptional technical expertise, consistently calibrated auditors and capacity for a timely path to certification. Backed by over 70 years of food safety expertise and a current average of 35,000 annual GFSI certification audits, we enable companies in the food storage and distribution sector around the globe to demonstrate compliance to the world’s highest food safety standards.

NSF International companies are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB ), and have a worldwide network of highly skilled and experienced auditors to help organizations of all sizes implement complex food safety solutions.

Certification Process

Certification to a GFSI benchmarked standard takes an average of six to nine months, depending on a facility’s level of readiness. The process follows these basic steps:

  • You company selects a GFSI standard.
  • You apply to NSF for certification.
  • You identify training needs/receive training.
  • You perform a self-assessment of compliance with the standard.
  • NSF conducts an optional pre-assessment (gap analysis).
  • We perform a desk audit.
  • We perform an onsite certification audit and identify corrective actions.
  • The facility addresses corrective actions.
  • We verify/approve corrective actions.
  • We issue the certificate.

To maintain certification, companies must re-certify every year under most GFSI standards.