The IFS Global Markets – Food is a food safety assessment program for retailers as well as industry-branded food products. The program is meant to support “small and/or less developed businesses” in the development of their food safety management systems and making the first step towards the implementation of the IFS Food Standard.
Assessments of suppliers against IFS Global markets protocol are not just an auditing facility but also a capacity-building program for suppliers to deliver safe products according to your specifications and inherently be able to get certified to GFSI-recognized standards.
The program is designed as a non-certification assessment process. Companies can start at any level within the program. Since Basic and Intermediate levels are considered transitional levels, the duration of each level should not exceed 1 year, unless different individual agreements/ requirements by buying partners. In general, within a maximum of three years, the company being evaluated should achieve the requirements of the IFS Food Standard, although risk-based exceptions are allowed.
Food safety is a key requirement at all stages of the food supply chain, globally based on Codex Alimentarius HACCP and guaranteed industry-wide through certification schemes established under the GFSI program. To be certified according to one of the GFSI standard is often a pre-requirement to any business relationship along the food supply chain.
The journey towards food safety system certification can be long and complex, sometime too long – especially for small and medium companies strongly depending on factors such as the country economic framework and the food safety awareness level.
That’s why the GFSI program includes an “entry point”, named GFSI Global Market, supporting the companies willing to improve their food safety system by providing the framework for both capacity building and demonstration to any stakeholder of the commitment to improvement and the actual level of implementation of the company’s food safety system, although not yet fully certified.
How does it work?
The IFS Global Markets. Once your company is ready with preparation and implementation at any of the levels, you can contact Certima for an assessment. The assessment report will show you the gaps you still have and whether you can proceed to the next level and/or directly to IFS Food certification. If the assessment is positive, Certima will issue a letter of approval, together with a report.
Certima is an accredited third-party certification body, and through on-site pre-assessments and value-added food safety audits, Certima supports the process of capacity building.
The nearly 20 years of experience in the field have made Certima efficient, competent and trusted certification body for the IFS standards.