Abbreviation for the “International Featured Standards” set of rules with a range of food, product and service standards. It was developed in 2003 by representatives of the European food retail trade as the "International Food Standard". and served the uniform review of food safety and the quality level of the producers. After several updates and the development of further standards, the brand was renamed to its current name. After an expansion of the topic, the name was changed. The IFS standards are intended to ensure that certified companies produce a conforming product or provide a service in accordance with the specifications agreed with the customers and work continuously on improvement through a continuous process. The standards and their requirements (checklists) are aimed at different participants in the supply chain.
IFS includes IFS Broker (trading activities), IFS Cash & Carry / Wholesale (handling activities for loose and packaged products), IFS Food (formerly International Food Standard), IFS Food Store, IFS HPC (household and personal care products), IFS Logistics (transport) and IFS PACsecure (packaging material). Certification is carried out by accredited certifiers, for example DQS (German Society for Quality), Bureau Veritas, ECOCERT. ICEA, TÜV or SGS, The IFS standards are based on the quality management standard ISO 9001 and also include the principles of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and of HACCP,
In addition to the requirements to be met, there are also ten knock-out criteria that exclude IFS certification if applicable. These include, for example, lacking hygiene of staff, lack of corrective action and lack of traceability. Version 4 also includes the current EU legislation regarding the handling of allergens and genetically modified organisms. IFS is increasingly used by larger production companies in connection with the quality control in the process of winemaking used. Every single wine from vine to bottling precisely logged and thus 100% traceability guaranteed.