The BRC Global Standards are a suite of four industry-leading Technical Standards that specify requirements to be met by an organisation to enable the production, packaging, storage and distribution of safe food and consumer products. Originally developed in response to the needs of UK members of the British Retail Consortium, the Standards have gained usage world-wide and are specified by growing numbers of retailers and branded manufacturers in the EU, North America and further afield. Certification to a Global Standard, which is achieved through audit by a third party Certification Bodies, reassures retailers and branded manufacturers of the capability and competence of the supplier, and reduces the need for retailers and manufacturers to carry out their own audits, thereby reducing the administrative burden on both the supplier and the customer.


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 globalisation of product supplies. All of these points made it essential to develop a uniform quality assurance and food safety standard. 
The members of the German retail federation – Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels (HDE), – of its French counterpart – Fédération des entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution (FCD) and of its Italian counterparts COOP, CONAD, Federdistribuzione – have drawn up a quality and food safety standard for retailer (and wholesaler) branded food products, which is intended to enable the assessment of suppliers’ food safety and quality systems, in accordance with a uniform approach. This IFS Food applies to all the post-farm gate stages of food processing. Retailers from Austria, Poland, Spain and Switzerland also support IFS as their food safety standard.