The technical standard for the safety of food IFS (International Food Standard), was developed by German and French Retailer’s Union. This Global Standard can be applied by all companies who target to export their products to supermarket chains in Germany and France. IFS was introduced in 2002 by German supermarket chains in order to create a common food safety standard. It is recommended to all companies are in a relation with food processing, when there is a contamination risk of the products during the primary packaging and especially for those who produce private labels (PL). IFS Standard contains many requirements, which must be complied during food manufacturing process.
The Basic IFS version 6 has been developed with the full and active participation of Certification Bodies and concerns retailers, food industries and enterprises producing food services from around the world. It is a continuous assessment of all companies, who supply or intent to supply the above mentioned supermarkets, in order to control whether they meet with five basic criteria as has been defined by the Standard (Food Safety Management System, recognition and control of Critical Control Points (CCPs), assessement of staff, corrective actions and traceability). Any manufacturer or supplier who cooperates with German or French food chains is obliged to implement the IFS system.
IFS System goals:
The aim of an IFS Food System is to create a consistent evaluation system for all companies who supply branded food products with uniform formulations, uniform audit procedures and the mutual acceptance of audit procedures, in order to create a high level of transparency throughout the international supply chain.
With the implementation of IFS, it is achieved:
- The establishment of a common standard with a uniform evaluation system
- The cooperation with accredited certification bodies and recognised IFS auditors
- The ensurance of comparability and transparency throughout the supply chain
What are the benefits of IFS:
Some benefits for the company, after the implementation and certification with an IFS Food Management System, are:
New partnerships with supermarkets who have the requirement for their suppliers to be certified with IFS System
New posibilities for the marketplace (exports)
Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
Reducing costs and time for both suppliers and retailers.