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Monday, 28 December 2015

The Invitation to “Future-Proof” My Food Safety Organization

I received an invitation to download a whitepaper that will help me develop my corporate vision for food safety compliance. The whitepaper largely addressed compliance with future regulatory rules and/or third party standards. 

My Response:
If "food safety" assurance is desired, "compliance" is important but it constitutes a distracting direction to focus my corporate vision. Also, if future-proofing means the preparedness to comply with all future regulations, I find at least two things that are immediately wrong with this suggestion:
1. Compliance to regulations must naturally be reactive since even regulators do not know what rules they may be forced to impose in the future. Therefore, the idea of proactively “future-proofing” my food safety organization to be in compliance is counter-intuitive. Whatever I do now to “future-proof” my food safety organization with a focus on “compliance” is almost guaranteed to miss the regulatory mark(s).
2. If the future-proofing is also as focused on “compliance” as this invitation suggests, invested resources, efforts or strategies are bound to be swallowed up in the futility of aiming at, and missing the constantly moving target. The rules are continuously evolving. The actual fortification (the shock-proofing) of my food safety assurance system is bound to be short-changed by any pursuit of compliance to future regulatory rules.
Contrary to the suggestion in this invitation I will not “future-proof” my system with a narrow focus on compliance. Instead, I will fortify (shock-proof) my food safety assurance to prevent undesirable food safety events in the future. Secondly, I will future-enable my food safety organization to correctly respond to food safety events in the future. Then thirdly, I will future-enable my food safety regulatory compliance preparedness so that it correctly responds to any future changes to regulatory rules.
I do not need, as proposed, a . . . 
whitepaper that lays out the macro trends in food safety compliance” and shows me how to “future-proof” my food safety organization with a narrow focus on “compliance.The suggestion is not only self-contradicting, it could lead to wasted resources.  What I need is perfecting and improving the proven and relevant practices that are known to work in the production and delivery of safe and quality products to consumers. Compliance with regulations is only an incidental part of the process and should not consume all of my focus or vision to the detriment of actual production systems tracking and fortification.
Posted By Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is the current Food Sector Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

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