The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and IFS Management GmbH have signed a Scheme Endorsement Agreement to endorse the IFS Food scheme as a sub-scope of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). The agreement was signed April 2023.
IFS Food aims to ensure the safety and quality of food products and processes, and is applicable to food processing companies and businesses that pack loose food products. The scheme covers senior management responsibility, quality and food safety management systems, resource management, planning and production processes, measurements, analysis, improvements, and food defense. It can provide several benefits to companies, including improved business reputation, compliance with regulations, higher flexibility, more effective use of resources, and the ability to trade with customers requiring third-party audits.
The recognition of IFS Food as an IAF MLA sub-scope will allow the acceptance of accredited certification to this scheme in multiple markets with only one accreditation, reducing costs and increasing value for businesses and consumers.
“The recognition of IFS Food as an IAF MLA sub-scope underscores the importance of reliable and consistent food safety practices in the international market. This recognition will enable businesses to demonstrate their competence and enhance consumer confidence, ultimately leading to safer and higher-quality food products for all,” said Emanuele Riva, IAF Chair.
“Our global network places great emphasis on the integrity of our standards. IFS is a global pioneer in establishing an integrity program and select and training auditors, who must pass a written and oral exam with us. Accreditation plays an essential role in ensuring integrity. With the IAF and its members, an independent body verifies that our standards meet all the required criteria. The recognition of IFS Food versions 7 and 8 under the IAF MLA contributes significantly to our certificates being recognized and trusted worldwide,” said Stephan Tromp, IFS Managing Director.
The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is a global association of accreditation bodies, conformity assessment body associations and other organizations involved in conformity assessment in fields including validation and verification and the certification of management systems, products, processes, services and persons.
IAF promotes the worldwide acceptance of certificates of conformity and validation/verification statements issued by conformity assessment bodies accredited by IAF MLA signatories, and seeks to add value for all stakeholders through its activities and programs.
IFS Management GmbH), owned by the retail associations HDE and FCD, develops globally recognized product quality and safety standards and development programs for companies within the food and consumer goods supply chain companies. IFS comprises six different food and non-food standards and four development programs. These assess if private label and branded product suppliers can deliver safe, quality products in line with regulations and customer specifications. This way, IFS helps ensure that consumers can trust that the products they find on retail shelves are safe and of good quality.