This means that they would like you to be certified to a food safety standard (certification scheme) that is recognized by GFSI. This gives you the freedom to select which food safety standard to implement in your company as long as you select one from their list of options.
Once you select the standard, you would implement it in your company and then have a 3rd party audit by a certification body. Upon successful completion of the audit, you will be granted your certificate.
So, although many people use the term "GFSI Certified" or "GFSI Certification" that is not correct. What they mean is "Certification to a GFSI recognized standard".
Here is a brief summary of the steps.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is coordinated by The Food Business Forum CIES. This forum is a global food network made up of approximately 400 retailers and manufacturers worldwide.
GFSI does not certify organizations, but has determined which food safety certifications it accepts or recognizes. These are called GFSI Benchmarked Standards. Many organizations will request that its suppliers achieve a "GFSI Benchmarked" certification scheme. If you have been asked to get a GFSI recognized standard you have several to choose from.
With the choices of Food Safety Management Systems Certification, how can your organization choose the right Food Safety Management System Standard?
The Global Food Safety Initiative plays an important role in Food Safety Systems Certification. This organization has “benchmarked” existing food safety schemes. Once a system is “benchmarked” it means that certification to the scheme is accepted by organizations requiring a GFSI scheme. How to select a GFSI Standard
The findings of a recent Global Food Safety Initiative survey of food safety professionals at certified facilities around the world reinforce the many benefits of GFSI:
Check the GFSI website (mygfsi.com) for the most up-to-date list of recognized standards.