IFS Food

The International Food Standard (IFS) is intended to facilitate the effective selection of GDO branded food suppliers, based on their ability to provide safe products and comply with contractual and legal requirements.
It is a recognized model in both Europe and the rest of the World.
It is one of the standards for food safety recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an international initiative whose main purpose is to strengthen and promote food safety throughout the supply chain.
Recently, GFSI, the Global Food Safety Initiative, has succeeded in having the concept of equivalence and interchangeability between the standards recognized by GFSI being accepted by some international retailers (including Carrefour, Tesco, Metro, Migros, etc.). This allows for a reduction of the duplication of attestations of conformity to comparable standards.
CSQA is accredited for IFS Certification by ACCREDIA.

Key points

The IFS Food standard is the result of the cooperation of:
  • HDE and FCD, representing respectively German and French retailers,
  • Federdistribuzione, an organization that represents the great organized Italian distribution,
  • ANCC (National Association of Consumers' Cooperatives)
  • ANCD (National Association of Retailers’ Cooperatives).
It applies to food companies that supply food products under the retailers’ brand.
The standard identifies the specific elements of a management system focused on the quality and health safety of the products, which takes the HACCP system as a reference for planning and implementing.
Key points are:
  • adoption of good practices;
  • adoption of a HACCP system;
  • adoption of a documented quality management system;
  • control of the standards for work environments, product, process and personnel;
  • existence of appropriate specifications for:
    • raw materials (including packaging materials),
    • finished product, intermediate products / semi-finished products (where applicable),
    • monitoring of suppliers,
    • site location,
    • the accumulation, collection and disposal of waste material,
    • hygienic and staff organization standards,
    • process control.


  •  Reduction of the number of second party audits, that is, those carried out on behalf of customers on the supplier, with lower costs, both direct (audit costs) and indirect (inevitable slower production due to numerous second party audits).
  • The possible synergies between the different standards allow a reduction of the time and costs required for the various audits. As a matter of fact, having a unique referent CB for all business certifications allows an optimization of possible synergies between these standards and ISO 9001 (Quality Management System); this allows to focus the certification body's intervention in a single audit, avoiding assessing multiple times aspects which are common to the various standards, with obvious time, energy, and cost savings.
  • The international recognition of the Standard that allows to answer to requests coming from customers all across Europe.