For producers and suppliers of private labels the "International Food Standard"- short IFS, had been introduced by a group of German and French retailers. In the meantime almost all big food chains expect from their suppliers that the key criteria of IFS are implemented and that IFS certification will be obtained. The target is to create more transparency, safety and hygiene within the cycle of food production.
Configuration and structure of the IFS are compatible with ISO 9001:2000 and it is divided into following chapters:

  • requirements for the quality management system (QMS)
  • responsibility of the management
  • resource management
  • manufacturing process
  • monitoring, analyses, improvement

The implementation of a HACCP system and the obligation to run an efficient documentation are other key criteria of the IFS standard. Its main focus is concentrated on food safety, HACCP and hygiene.
All retailers, which are listed in the Federal Association of German Traders (BDH) and participate in the board for feed law and quality assurance, support the IFS standard.
Partly the IFS standard is applied in countries outside Germany, like France and Switzerland. In other countries negotiations have started to establish IFS in future throughout Europe.

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