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International Food Standard (IFS)

The IFS aims to create a high level of transparency throughout the whole international food supply chain.

What is the IFS Food standard?

The aim of the IFS is to create a consistent evaluation system for all companies supplying retailer branded food products with uniform formulations, uniform audit procedures and mutual acceptance of audits, to create a high level of transparency throughout the whole international supply chain.

In 2002, to create a common food safety standard, German food retailers from the HDE (Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels) developed a common audit standard called the International Food Standard (IFS).  In 2003, French food retailers (and wholesalers) from the FCD (Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution) joined the IFS Working Group and have contributed to development of the IFS.

IFS requirements deal with five main subjects:

  1. Senior Management Responsibility

  2. Quality Management System

  3. Resource Management

  4. Production Process

  5. Measurements, Analysis, Improvements

Who can use IFS Food standard?

The IFS is applicable to every producer of retail branded food products who is working with German and French retailers (and wholesalers) and is applicable to production, processing of the product, and packaging into smaller units.


  • Avoid multiple audits - approval to the IFS Food standard gives significant benefits to the supplier. It helps to avoid the confusion and disruption that multiple audits can bring and the need to duplicate variations on the same data for different clients.

  • Fulfil legal obligations - The certificate verifies technical competence and helps manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to fulfil their legal obligations.

  • Supplier of choice - especially within the French and German food markets, and globally.

  • Consumer trust - this standard helps safeguards the consumer.

LRQA's services

Certification -  with over a decade of experience in the food sector, LRQA is well placed to provide a comprehensive assessment and certification service on an international scale.
Integrated systems - IFS assessment may be combined with BRC or Dutch HACCP option A.
Training - to help you integrate this standrd into your organisation and throughout your supply chain.

Next steps...

To find out how we can help your business please contact your nearest office or complete our enquiry form:

  • Request for information