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.