IFS Food

The IFS Food standard is internationally recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative, designed to ensure that IFS-certified companies can deliver products that comply with client-specific product demands as well as international legislation to ensure safety and quality for consumers.

The development of the IFS is based on the ever-rising demands of consumers, the increasing liabilities of retailers and wholesalers, the increasing legal requirements and the globalization of product supplies. International Featured Standard is focused at manufacturers who produce under the so-called “Private” brands (Private labels) and give greater certainty to the retail chains that products produced by their suppliers under their brands will be safe and meet quality and legal requirements.

The standard is vital for Europe, with an increasing popularity in other parts of the world.

Certima BV is accredited for IFS Food by RVA (the Dutch Accreditation Council).

An IFS audit is carried out with efficiency in mind with simultaneous coverage of safety, legality and quality. The report provides an objective perspective on the quality and safety management systems as well as guidance on how to improve. In a year’s time another audit will be carried out, revising gradings and deviations. In cases with critical non-conformities, corrections will be made immediately.

The IFS Food standard contains 10 so called “knock-out” criteria. Failure to meet one of those criteria results in no certification. There are two levels of certification – Foundation level (score between 75 and 95%) and Higher level (score >95%). A score below 75% means that no certificate can be granted.

The IFS standard applies to suppliers at all steps of food processing subsequent to the agricultural stage. The requirements are related to the quality management system and the HACCP system (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points), supported by detailed prerequisite program, that is a set of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) and GHP (Good Hygiene Practice) requirements.

IFS Food applies when products are “processed” or when there is a hazard for product contamination during primary packing. The Standard supports the production and marketing departments in their efforts for brand safety and quality.


  • Provides legal defense in case of an incident, implying that the error was a fluke and was not caused by faulty processes and control.
  • Build and operate a management system capable of helping you to better meet food quality/safety requirements;
  • IFS Integrity Program that manages retailer complaints and provides Quality Assurance with regards to certification and the standard itself;
  • Facilitate reductions in product waste, product reworking, and product recall;
  • Software support to conduct electronic audits;
  • Access to the IFS Audit Portal which acts jointly as a database;
  • IFS Food approval helps to avoid confusion and interference that can lead to multiple audits.

IFS is supported by almost all global retailers. Like the other GFSI schemes IFS provides opportunities for your company to comply with retail demands and customer’s expectations worldwide.

With the IFS audit report your company will get a realistic picture of your food safety and quality management system and it provides a basis from which to start the process of improvement. IFS gives you 12 months to correct the deviations from requirements that were found. Only major non-conformities (related to food safety or legal requirements) must be corrected immediately. Certificate is valid for 12 months.

IFS Food applies only to companies processing and packaging (unpacked) food products. IFS Food shall not apply to the following activities: import, trade, transport, storage and distribution.