IFS Broker version 3.2. has been released

IFS Broker version 3.2. has been released

The new version 3.2. of the IFS Broker standard was released on 29.02.2024. IFS Broker version 3.2. audits become mandatory from 1.07.2024.

The most significant modification concerns the scoring system. Following the other IFS Standards, the B-score is now a deviation again, requiring a correction or corrective action by the audited company.
These updates contribute to greater transparency as customers and other stakeholders of the audited company can easily recognise how the audit was carried out. Furthermore, the report shows which deviation led to the B-score and the action plan specifies what needs to be done to correct the deviation. This creates greater clarity for everyone involved.

As many IFS audits are combined audits with other IFS Standards, it was essential for IFS to align version 3.2 with the other updated IFS Standards, especially IFS Food 8 and IFS Logistics 3. The revisions significantly facilitate the performance of combined IFS Audits.

In IFS Broker 3.2, IFS also introduce the star status, signaling that the audit was unannounced.
Although the changes in the requirements are just a few, the auditing approach and grading of deviations challenges the audited companies to adopt a much deeper understanding and implementation of these requirements into their food safety management system.

IFS Logistics version 3 has been released

IFS Logistics version 3 has been released

The new version 3 of the IFS Logistics standard was released on 6.12.2023.

IFS Logistics version 3 audits are possible starting 1 June 2024 and become mandatory on 1 December 2024.

In general, the applicability of version 2.3 ends on 30 November 2024. However, version 2.3 can apply after 1 December 2024 in some exceptional situations (multi-location, follow-up and extension audits).

For unannounced audits version 3 applies when the audit window starts on or after 1 October 2024.

IFS Logistics version 3 has fewer requirements and an optimized protocol and structure. Further updates concern the scoring system, extensions and clarifications in the scopes, and introduction of the star status to indicate an unannounced audit. It is now aligned with the IFS Food Standard version 8, which is relevant for combined audits.

The most significant changes are:

  • Fewer requirements, an optimized protocol, and a structure that consequently follows the audit path.
  • A new scope for animal feed is added and IFS introduced two more logistics processing services: simple sorting of fruits and vegetables and labelling.
  • The IFS Logistics scope is extended and clarified, especially for short-term storage/transport of containers, organizing logistics activities and exclusion rules.
  • Partly outsourced logistics processing services are included in the standard.
  • The B-score is again classified as a deviation, so businesses can define a correction and corrective action to improve their performance continuously.
  • The new IFS Star status indicates that the audit was unannounced. Supply chain partners can immediately see that the certified company stands out.
  • Alignment with the Codex Alimentarius and ISO/IEC 17065, GFSI Benchmarking Requirements and considers ISO22003-2.

More information you can find here:

IFS_Logistics_v3_launch_newsletter_for_industry_EN_1701859182.pdf (ifs-certification.com)

At Certima, we will be taking swift action to update our processes and incorporate the changes, and we will be providing certification for the standard as soon as it comes into effect.

We will launch soon numerous communications and events to inform you accordingly about the changes that the IFS Logistics certified companies should effectuate in their FSMS prior to their IFS Logistics ver. 3 audits.

Join Certima IFS Food 8 AUDITOR training!

Join Certima IFS Food 8 AUDITOR training!

We have opened limited spots to our upcoming IFS Food 8 AUDITOR training coming on 16 & 17 November 2023.

The training is an important cornerstone for qualifying IFS auditors and also a valuable opportunity to gain deeper understanding in the IFS Food standard requirements, implementation and auditing approach.

The training is suited for food safety professionals aspiring to become IFS auditors and/ or developing, implementing or maintaining food safety management systems to meet the IFS standards requirements.

The training will be performed face to face on 16th and 17th November at Stikkerstraat 10, Arnhem, and you can enroll for just 750 EUR (excl. VAT) by directly registering here.

REGISTER HERE

IFS Food version 8 has been released

IFS Food version 8 has been released

Dear customers,

IFS Food version 8 has been releasedIFS Management GmbH has announced the official publication of the IFS Food version 8 standard. IFS Food version 8 audits are possible from 1 October 2023 and become mandatory for all certified companies as of 1 January 2024.

In general, the applicability of version 7 ends on 31 December 2023. In some exceptional situations, IFS Food version 7 can apply after 1 January 2024. The general admission of these exceptions ends on 31 December 2024. Here is an overview:

For unannounced audits: Version 8 applies when the audit window starts on or after 1 October.

For multi-site audits: You need to audit sites and head office to the same version. After 1 January 2024, version 8 applies to all audits performed at the head office.
For follow-up audits: When the connected “main” audit took place according to version 7 before 1 January 2024, version 7 applies for the follow-up audit.
For extension audits: When the connected “main” audit took place according to version 7 before 1 January 2024, version 7 also applies for the extension audit

A number of changes have been implemented to the requirements part of the standard and the protocol. The IFS Food has been aligned with Codex Alimentarius and ISO 22003-2 and also the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. The scoring system has been improved guiding the IFS certified companies towards continuous improvement in their performance. And a number of rules and administrative requirements have been optimized to meet the call for greater value and efficiency.

At Certima, we will be taking swift action to update our processes and incorporate the changes, and we will be providing certification for the standard as soon as it comes into effect.

We will launch soon numerous communications and events to inform you accordingly about the changes that the IFS certified companies should effectuate in their FSMS prior to their IFS Food 8 audits.

Certima™ Update April 2023

Certima™ Update April 2023

Improved customer service process

Taking into account your ongoing feedback, the complexity of all standard requirements (especially regarding unannounced audits), we are focused on making the process of planning and performing the audits more transparent, predictable and efficient.

In order to sustain and develop your business in the food supply chain, you need to operate efficiently and to assure the trust of your clients in your operations. You need to maintain your certification uninterrupted and expect from us to plan and perform the audit and certification process smoothly.

To be able to meet your expectations and these of standard owners, we need to assure that the information needed is gathered on time and taken into account throughout the whole certification cycle. We count on you to inform us in due course whenever significant changes occur in your operations during the validity of your certificate. From now on, we will prompt you to send us the information about expected changes in your production much in advance and we will rely on your cooperation and transparency. This will enable us to maintain a predictable and efficient auditing and certification process.

Of course, you will still continue to develop new products and introduce new processes whenever a need for that occurs. Once we are informed about this, we will do our best to take into account these changes and integrate them in the ongoing audit and certification process as much as possible. It is our focus to minimize additional audits and related costs. Whenever the changes are crucial for maintaining and/or extending your scope of certification, extensions are always possible.

To enable these improvements we have changed our cancellation terms from 3 to 6 month in our General Certification Conditions and IFS and BRC Certification agreement terms. You can find their latest versions here: https://certima.org/certima/downloads/. We would like to consider any objections or other feedback you might have about the changes and would like to hear from you till 12.05.2023.

Unannounced audits – ongoing learning and improvements
This year we go together through the challenges of Unannounced audits and only through efficient collaboration, we can assure that the audits are performed consistently. We are really pleased with the results until now. We did not experience critical situations with cancelled or not performed audits and we do not observe an increased number of critical NCs and suspension of certificates due to the unannounced character of the major part of the audits in the current period.

We are aware that this is possible only because of your good preparation and really appreciate your dedicated work. To continue the audit performance even more smoothly, we would like to draw your attention to some lessons learnt and possible improvements in preparing for the unannounced audits from your side:

Assure responsible people are available: Success at an unannounced audit relies upon the ability of the company to share information and knowledge within, to have effective deputies to cover in the absence of a particular manager, and a shared responsibility within the management team for food safety and compliance with the standard.

Assure auditor access and that all your products and technology processes can be demonstrated during the audit: We are aware that some processes are not running 24/7 but you still need to assure the operation of your processes during the audit. For this, the good preparation from your side is key. Think of organizing the prerequisites for full operation during the audit – the delivery of raw materials, the planning of production processes and shifts etc. If a fully operational production is not possible, we may find a solution through scope exclusions and extensions to enable the maintenance of certification for the needed scope.

Boosting the understanding of BRCGS issue 9 requirements
To maintain and boost the understanding of existing and newly introduced requirements in the BRCGS Food safety standard Certima holds the following courses throughout 2023:

  • Issue 9: Conversion for Sites (1 day duration) – 6.06.2023; October 2023
  • Internal auditor course (2 days duration) – 12-13.09.2023;
  • Environmental monitoring – October/November 2023
  • Food Safety Culture – October/November 2023

For the delivery of these courses we collaborate with Mr. Jan Jelle Spit. He is a BRCGS Food safety and S&D auditor and a dedicated and experienced trainer, delivering BRCGS recognized or client specific training courses. His years’ long and diverse industry and auditing experience are invaluable contribution to the competence of Certima team, as well as to our customers.

Expanding our auditor capacity to serve your audits

After finalizing the qualification of our new IFS auditor Mr. Jeroen van Loon in October 2022 who covers a wide range of product and technology scopes, we are announcing a new round of our proven auditor qualification program for IFS & BRC in the Netherlands.

It contains a customized package of focused trainings and exam preparatory activities that have proven their efficiency in our auditor qualification experience in the past 16 years. If you are interested in becoming an IFS or BRC auditor, you can find more information here: https://certima.org/become-an-independent-food-safety-auditor/  and join our next IFS In-house training course for candidate auditors – coming in September 2023 in English.

Certima Scores High across stakeholders and customers

We published recently our performance report for 2022 based on the positive evaluation of our customers and stakeholders.  Certima holds 5 stars with BRCGS since the beginning of its operation in 2019. At the latest KPI assessment we gained 98.21 % (5 stars requirement is >90). We score with 0 failures on a number of indicators of IFS, and high level of compliance and trust with RvA.

Check out our full performance report here

Please send all arising questions and requests to info@certima.org

Yours truly,

Certima team

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Dear customers,

We are excited to share our unrivalled performance results from the past year. The evaluation of our stakeholders and customers show that we enjoy a high level of trust among them.

Certima holds 5 stars with BRCGS since the beginning of its operation in 2019. At the latest KPI assessment we gained 98.21 % (5 stars requirement is >90). We score with 0 failures on a number of indicators of IFS, and high level of compliance and trust with RvA.

We are mostly encouraged by our customer survey which shows a high rate of customer satisfaction with our services.

None of these achievements would have been possible without your dedicated work and performance. We would like to express our sincere appreciation for your trust and loyal cooperation over the past four years – years of learning and growth for Certima team.

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Certima Scores High across our stakeholders and customers

Check out our full performance report here

Update on Food Safety Incidents

Update on Food Safety Incidents

Update on Food Safety Incidents – what you need to do to assure that your certification is maintained?

Dear customers,

We would like to draw your attention to important requirements regarding food safety incidents, e.g. recalls and withdrawals, how you manage them and report and notify Certima BV about this. Keep in mind that the way you handle food safety incidents has a direct impact on your certificate. Read on to know what you need to do to assure that your certification is maintained.

For Food Safety Incidents including: product recall(s), product recall(s) and / or withdrawal(s) by official order concerning food safety and / or food fraud reasons or any visit from health authorities which resulted in notifications and / or penalties issued by authorities, Certima BV shall be informed within three (3) working days. Recalls on products out of the certified scope (exclusions) shall also be reported as the cause may have a relation with products in the certified scope.

If Certima BV is not informed about a food safety incident (on time), we may need to suspend the certificate until you prove that your FSMS is working efficiently by informing us about incident details (supported with evidences) and how it is handled.

Reporting should be done by e-mail to recall@certima.org. In order to supply consistent information, certified customers need to fill out the “Notification Form Food Safety Incidents including Recall/Withdrawal”. You can find the form on our website: https://certima.org/certima/recall-management/. This form has to be completed and sent to Certima as soon as possible. Furthermore, certified customers are responsible for investigating and subsequently providing the details including the Correction, Corrective Actions and Root Cause Analysis regarding the incident. An Incident manager at Certima shall review the submitted information in the completed form and all additionally provided documents, and evaluate whether the incident has been managed in a satisfactory way and whether the certificate can be maintained. All information will be treated strictly confidential, but it will be reported to the scheme owners as per their strict protocols for reporting of food safety incidents. The information will be reported to the accreditation bodies at their request. Incidents having a major impact on public safety and/or generating a lot of media interest have to be reported to Certima pro-actively.

BRCGS requires from certification bodies to notify BRCGS within 2 working days of receiving the recall information (and other incidents) by completing recall submission form on BRCGS Directory with the product safety incident details received from the site. However, this initial notification should contain basic product, site, and incident details. The remaining information can be added at a later date, once the certification body review is complete. This remaining information should be updated within 3 weeks of the date of recall (i.e. 21 calendar days) by the Certification Body.

With the version 7 of the IFS Food IFS has required the reporting of extraordinary information about certified customers including food safety incidents such as product recalls, product withdrawals by official order concerning food safety and food fraud reasons, or any visit from health authorities which resulted in notifications or penalties issued by authorities, the certification body shall be informed. With IFS Food version 8 the required information is a lot more detailed and strict deadlines will be introduced.

To allow enough time for your preparation to meet the upcoming requirements by IFS, hereby a brief extract from the draft IFS Food v8 about handling and reporting food safety incidents:


<<<Notifications to the certification body

During the certification cycle, the senior management of the company shall ensure that the certification body is informed in due time about any changes that may affect the company’s ability to conform to the certification requirements (e.g. recall, alert on products, changes in organization and management, important modifications on the products and/or the production methods, changes in contact address and production sites, new address of the production site, etc.). The details shall be defined and agreed between both parties. As required in the IFS Food Audit checklist (Part 2), requirement 1.2.6, some specific situations require a notification to the certification body within three (3) working days.

After receiving such information from the sites (limited to the three (3) specific situations requiring a company notification within three (3) working days), the certification body shall:

  • Fill out in English the relevant form provided in the IFS Database and send it back to IFS Management GmbH within three (3) working days after receiving the information from the company.
  • Provide to IFS Management GmbH a root cause analysis and progress of the investigation within ten (10) working days (after submitting the form).

It is the certification body’s responsibility to investigate each situation and decide any action on the IFS Certification status.>>>

For more information and audit requests you can contact us at: info@certima.org.