With our customers’ growing interest in food-safe packaging, PCA made an extensive commitment to become certified to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). GFSI certification is a third-party audited and universally accepted verification of a company’s systems and standards supporting food safety.
In 2012, our plant in Colby, Wisconsin, became North America’s first full-line corrugated facility to achieve a GFSI certification. We also were the first major integrated corrugated packaging company to have all full-line packaging plants GFSI certified, enabling us to produce and supply food-safe packaging for an ever-growing number of products.
GFSI is a collaborative effort across many industries to implement best practices, to build trust throughout the entire supply chain and to encourage continuous improvement in food safety management systems. Leading food safety experts — including representatives from growers, food processing, distribution, packaging providers, food service, retailers and other participants in the global food supply chain — participate in GFSI, along with government representatives and members of the academic community.
While GFSI itself is not a certifying entity, its technical committee and board of directors review and approve certification standards created by other organizations. Our full-line plants that are GFSI certified are audited annually by an accredited third party. A food manufacturer partnering with a GFSI-certified packaging supplier can rest assured that their efforts to ensure the safety of their products are continued throughout the distribution process.
Bringing Real Benefits to Our Customers
Every step of our production process is regularly examined and rigorously documented. That documentation allows PCA to provide valuable information to support our customer’s own food safety and compliance audits. And since every full-line PCA facility is GFSI certified, our customers have the greatest flexibility in sourcing their food-safe packaging across the country. GFSI certification allows us to continuously improve and be even better at what we do for our customers.
To obtain and retain GFSI certification, PCA’s workflows include:
- Ongoing analysis of facilities and processes to identify potential hazards
- Start-to-finish product traceability, including raw materials
- Strict housekeeping protocols
- High level of overall awareness and personal hygiene by ALL employees
- GFSI food safety training for ALL employees
- Detailed building and grounds maintenance
- Food safety risk assessments
- Chemicals control
- Glass and brittle plastics control
- Vehicle inspection prior to receiving material and prior to loading of finished packaging
- Internal audits and trace exercises for external audit readiness and support of customer audits
- Qualification and approval of all suppliers for packaging components, production and delivery
In addition to GFSI standards, we have embraced the ISO 9001 standard as the structure to execute our quality principles. We are constantly updating and improving our quality systems. By sharing best practices and seeking new, value-added approaches, we have maintained our focus on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement and operating results.
Our GFSI certification provides a common language for food safety practices, and we have established a reputation for being our industry’s leader in providing safe and effective packaging to food, beverage and pharmaceutical producers.