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Why is Food Safety Culture all about Leadership?

Food Safety Culture is the foundation of any management system

Last month in Marseille, I had the opportunity to share my views on Food Safety Culture at the SecurFood Conference. It is great to share with professionals the passion for food safety and the new approaches launched by leaders in Food Safety, such as Frank Yiannas, but also by big and great companies.

I was thankful for the kind feedback after the conference but one comment of a participant convinced me that it was right to take this path. A quality manager said: “Thank you for the great presentation, but it should be given to our General Manager”.

Yes, Food Safety Culture is all about Leadership, and it is time that all Leaders recognize their crucial role in assuring the food that are produced, under their responsibility is safe. It’s not about Policies, about Management Systems…

it is about day to day “walking the talk”.

There were great examples too, at the last “Food Safety Culture Excellence” conference at CampdenBRI, of what Food Safety Culture is all about:

Leaders who:

  • Show the food safety way and motivate all management to do it.
  • Communicate clearly through their policies and objectives that, whatever it takes, food safety is the number one priority.
  • Give resources consistent with the stakes related to improving food safety.
  • Measure how employees embrace the culture of the company and the impact on food safety.
  • Facilitate that every employee is able to address, report any situation or behavior that puts the consumer at risk
  • Are transparent in their communication to all stakeholders and authorities
  • Make sure that their company and production facility, is every day in the same and best condition so that unannounced audits or inspections are no big deal anymore.

Quality Directors or Managers cannot do this all by themselves: you need to engage your leaders and show the examples of other leaders showing the way.

I am glad to share with you my presentation about Food Safety Culture.

It is in french but I will be happy to translate in English to the ones who are interested.

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Bruno Séchet
Gérant | Managing Director
bsechet@integralim.net