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Kroger Exec Joins Global Food Safety Initiative’s Steering Committee

Howard Popoola appointed to co-chair GFSI's Coalition of Action
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Kroger Exec Joins Global Food Safety Initiative’s Steering Committee
Kroger VP of Corporate Food Technology and Regulatory Compliance Howard Popoola

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), The Consumer Goods Forum’s Coalition of Action on food safety, has appointed Howard Popoola, VP, corporate food technology and regulatory compliance at The Kroger Co., to the post of steering committee co-chair, representing retail members of the coalition.

He will join new vice co-chair Tom Wiester, VP, global food safety and science affairs at Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co., along with Roy Kirby, global director of microbiology, food safety and toxicology at Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelēz International, and Monique Pellegrino, chief food safety officer at Paris-based Danone, who are the manufacturing co-chair and vice co-chair, respectively.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 600 million people around the world – almost one in 10 – fall ill after eating contaminated food each year, and concerns over food safety have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To tackle this, coalition members are addressing challenges facing food safety systems in their supply chains and the markets in which they operate, and are helping to raise the food safety bar globally. The steering committee, created in March 2021 as the GFSI transitioned into a Coalition of Action, is responsible for helping to shape GFSI’s agenda and to ensure the successful implementation of the Race to the Top Framework

“We are delighted with the unanimous decision to appoint Howard and Tom,” said Erica Sheward, GFSI director. “We now have a strong retail leadership team in place to work alongside Roy and Monique and help deliver GFSI’s global objectives. Since our transition to a Coalition of Action, things have been moving very quickly, and I look forward to working more closely with our co-chairs and vice co-chairs as we drive our Race to the Top Framework and strive to ensure safe food for people everywhere”. 

“I’m honored that my peers have put their faith in me to co-lead the GFSI Coalition of Action,” added Popoola. “There is a lot of work to be done, but our priority is on enabling the extensive collaboration that is so critical to safe food and in implementing the Race to the Top Framework that will help drive continuous improvements in the food safety system. Together, we can be successful.”

The Paris-based Consumer Goods Forum is a global parity-based industry network driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serve the consumer goods industry worldwide. 

Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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