- Food Industry
Lifting of IFS suspension
GFSI lifted the suspension of IFS on 8 March 2023.
The lifting of the IFS suspension marks a return to calm with regard to the recognition of IFS certificates. Only in very few cases has this recognition given rise to uncertainty. IFS commented on this decision as follows: "We provided GFSI with all the necessary information on the case in Italy, underwent an audit with the GFSI benchmark leader on 3 March 2023 and always fulfilled the GFSI benchmarking requirements. We therefore welcome today’s decision of the GFSI Steering Committee to reinstate IFS as a GFSI-recognised CPO. Nevertheless, IFS has considered the suspension of the benchmark by GFSI as unfounded and arbitrary. It has unsettled many IFS-certified companies and has not contributed to food safety. We have always worked to ensure that their customers continue to recognise IFS Certificates and are grateful for the trust placed in us by our global network.”
- Food Industry
Suspension of IFS by GFSI
Last Friday, GFSI announced the suspension of IFS for 3 months, without giving any reason. A very unusual measure.
ProCert and all IFS customers were informed by IFS directly on Friday afternoon that IFS will appeal immediately, that the IFS certificates will remain valid and that all customers of the IFS network will continue to recognise these certificates. The audits can be carried out as planned. ProCert is accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Service (SAS) and has signed a legally valid contract with IFS. This probably politically motivated GFSI decision affects neither the accreditation of ProCert nor the contract with IFS. The audits and certificates remain under accredited conditions where applicable. If you have any questions, you can send your question to email@example.com.
- Food Industry
Information on version 7 of IFS Food
ProCert has informed his clients about the most important changes that affect them. Below you will find a summary of the points covered.
1. New IFS Food Doctrine V7 applicable from September 2021
At the end of June, IFS published a new Food Doctrine, which is applicable from September 2021. ProCert has informed its clients about the most important points.
2. Obligation to report incidents, registration in the IFS portal (new)
Organisations must inform their certification body within 3 working days of any changes "that may affect the company's ability to meet the certification requirements. The content of these notifications must now also be stored in the IFS portal.
3. Adapted Collaboration Guide (version 6)
ProCert has adapted his guide in various points. A chapter on the subject of incidents has also been added.
4. IFS integrity programme – with announced checks at very short notice
As a reminder: IFS may conduct an assessment with or otherwise request to work with an organisation at any time, for example, to process a complaint from a retailer. IFS carries out such checks annually at all certification bodies on at least 1% of the audited companies.
5. First IFS Food V7 Assessments &Preparation Forms
ProCert has created two forms which organisations are asked to complete before their first IFS Food Version 7 Assessment, so that the auditor can prepare the first IFS Assessment Report according to Version 7 quickly and without errors.
6. Head office and central functions
Assessments of central functions are also associated with certain risks for organisations. Extract from IFS Food V7: "If a serious non-conformity is detected during the IFS assessment of the head office /central administration, all assessed production sites are also affected and the certificates of these production sites are suspended".
7. Unannounced assessments
From 2021, every third audit or assessment must be unannounced, according to the requirements of the GFSI. This means that ProCert has until 2023 to implement this requirement.
8. Data update in IFS Portal
Certification bodies only can edit and update the master data of a company. Therefore, they depend on companies to inform them immediately if anything changes in the legal form, address, phone numbers and IFS contact person and emergency contact.
9. New IFS registration fees for uploads as of 1 January 2022
IFS has informed as of mid-July 2021 that IFS fees will be increased from 1 January 2022 as follows. The fee for all main standards (Food, Broker, Logistics, HPC, PAC Secure, Wholesale/Cash & Carry) will be increased from 300 euros to 350 euros.
10. Reminder: ProCert food safety culture self-assessment tool
At the end of March, ProCert has released a Food Safety Culture Self-Assessment Tool. This tool can be downloaded free of charge from the ProCert website under Downloads.
- Food Industry
Publication of the new IFS Food Version 7
IFS – International Featured Standards has announced the publication of the new IFS Food Version 7.
IFS Food is a worldwide acknowledged standard for assessing food manufacturers with a strong focus on food safety and the quality of processes and products.
The new version of this standard gives more clarity about what is expected from auditors when they perform an IFS Assessment. The requirements now have a more prescriptive nature, and the new structure makes it easier to work with the standard. More emphasis has been put on the on-site evaluation and less on documentation. The assessment checklist has been aligned with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements version 2020.1, FSMA, and EU regulations.
- Food Industry
Publication of IFS Food V7 postponed
The possibility for certification bodies to become IFS Food accredited has been available since the first publication of the IFS Food Standard in 2002. Accreditation is an essential part of guaranteeing the integrity of the IFS standards, which the certification bodies then demonstrate through the quality of their own certification activities.
With the establishment of a uniform European procedure, which necessitates a program evaluation (EA 1/22) by the European Accreditation Forum (EA), IFS is now formally required to comply with this procedure and undergo a program evaluation for IFS Food Version 7.
However, as a result IFS Food Version 7 will only be published once the evaluation by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) has successfully been completed.
The publication of IFS Food Version 7 has therefore been postponed to summer 2020 at the earliest. It will become applicable for certification one year after publication.