What is IFS?
IFS Standards are uniforming food, product and service standards. While constantly working on process improvements, they enable IFS certified companies to produce a product or provide a service to customer specifications.
IFS Food is a Standard for auditing retailer and wholesaler branded food product suppliers. The standard is recognized by the Global Food Safe Initiative (GFSI) and is a required element to supply many international retail chains. The standard applies to all stages of food processing with the exception of primary production. The principal requirements of the IFS Standard are the adoption of HACCP, a documented quality management system and control of factory environmental standards, product, process and personnel. IFS, like other GFSI standards, consolidates the audit process as much as possible. A single on-site audit covers both safety and quality parameters, as well as legality, while bypassing the need for an initial ‘desk study’ component. Re-audits to maintain certification are required every 12 months (for all levels, as opposed to some other standards that vary the frequency of the re-audit schedule based on the rating awarded during the previous audit). Additionally, businesses are given a 12-month period to implement corrective actions (exempting those related directly to food safety or legislation), offering businesses time to plan budgets or improve their approach. Certification to IFS Food:
- Raw materials, packaging materials, additives and other inputs
- Process conditions (From Input to Shipping)
- Basic environmental activities
- Activities and rules regarding basic personnel
- Hazard and risk analysis
- Crisis management
- Activities related to suppliers and visitors
- Allergens, genetically modified products,
- Traceability (from field to fork)
- Management responsibility and activities related to the quality and food safety management system (YGG, internal audits, etc.)
- Physical conditions
What are the goals of the International Food Standard?
The main objectives of the International Food Standard are:
- To create a common standard with a uniform evaluation system,
- to work with accredited certification bodies and qualified and approved auditors,
- To ensure comparability and transparency throughout the entire supply chain,
- reducing costs and time for both suppliers and retailers.
Who can get IFS certificated?
Currently, every retailer (or wholesaler) working with retailers is a producer (and
wholesalers) are subject to IFS audits.
IFS generally applies to the entire food supply chain (excluding the pre-farm sector)
Benefits of setting up the IFS Food System
- Increasing consumer confidence
- Priority access to the desired market
- Strong ties with retail distribution
- Increased transparency
- Increasing the efficiency of production
- Minimizing major food risks
- It has a wide scope such as Quality, Hygiene and Product Safety
- Provides effective control of internal processes and minimizing the risk of error
- Provides a proactive approach to food safety by identifying potential hazards in advance and using preventive methods instead of corrective measures.
How to get IFS certified?
1. Determine which standard is better fitting for your company
2. Order the latest version of the IFS standard
3. Determine the current situation of the company
4. Determine the certification body
5. Determine the audit date, plan and audit scope
6. Perform the on-site audit by a qualified auditor for the relevant product category at the specified audit date.