Two major European retailers, FCD France and HDE of Germany, have jointly promulgated “International featured standard, or IFS”, requiring food suppliers entering the EU retail market to obtain IFS standard certification.
The development of IFS standards that are supplied by large retailers, providing clear regulatory specifications and requirements for food suppliers, especially "private-own-brand" food manufacturers.
Through the implementation of IFS standards and certification process, so that manufacturers fully clearly identify, control and reduce the possible harm in the food production process, so as to ensure product safety, smooth access to the European market.
IFS Standard requirements:
The IFS Food Standard is used to audit food manufacturers regarding food safety and quality of processes and products. The list of requirements is organized in the following topics:
· Senior management responsibility
· Quality and food safety management system
· Resource management
· Planning and production process
· Measurements, analysis, improvements
· Food Defense
· To establish a common Standard with a uniform evaluation system
· To work with accredited certification bodies and qualified auditors approved for IFS Food,
· To ensure comparability and transparency throughout the entire supply chain,
· To reduce costs and time for both manufacturers and retailers.
IFS Food certification can offer a number of key benefits to companies striving for excellence in quality, food safety and customer satisfaction, and seeking a competitive advantage in their market place.
Production department benefits:
· Improved understanding between management and staff relating to good practices, standards and procedures,
· Monitoring of compliance with food regulations,
· More effective use of resources,
· Reduction in the need for customer audits,
· Independent third party audits,
· Higher flexibility through individual implementation due to a risk based approach.
Marketing department benefits:
· Improved business reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality and safe products
· Ability to trade with customers requiring third party audits
· Use of the IFS logo and certificate to demonstrate compliance with the highest standards.