PMM College - Part 8 IFS - Quality counts

Our new commodity guide for trainees, professionals and anyone interested. This time it's about the International Featured Standards (IFS) Broker quality certification. We explain what exactly it is.

IFS - often heard, rarely understood. IFS is essentially a standard for food safety compliance. But compliance with legal requirements as well as customer demands on producers and service providers are also a top priority. After all, anyone who orders something wants to receive exactly what they have bought in the best and agreed condition. A producer or service provider must be able to guarantee this. Compliance with all the requirements of the IFS Standard is checked annually by accredited certification bodies - such as TÜV SÜD in Germany - in the course of announced and unannounced inspections.

Raw materials and products are obtained within the supply chain via increasingly complex routes and from a wide variety of sources. This is part of globalisation. Brokers, trading agents and importers are an essential link between producers and retailers.

The IFS Broker was created to ensure the safety and quality of products and to close the gap between production and distribution. Trading partners expect brokers, agents and importers to communicate their product requirements to manufacturers and producers, and to understand and implement them. Brokers, agents and importers are responsible for ensuring that this actually happens. Auditors from certification bodies check whether they are sufficiently fulfilling their responsibility by carrying out inspections in the companies concerned. The IFS Broker therefore checks whether brokers, agents and importers are properly checking their manufacturing partners. And what is checked by means of International Featured Standards?

  • Responsibility of the company management
  • Quality and product safety management system
  • Resource management
  • Planning and service processes
  • Compliance with customer requirements
  • Compliance with legal requirements
  • Measurements, analysis and improvements
  • Food Defense
  • Food Fraud


How does this work in practice?

Already during product development, when approving new suppliers, i.e. when selecting suppliers or new products, a risk analysis regarding food fraud should be carried out with the corresponding necessary measures. In addition to their own food fraud system, it must be ensured that all suppliers, i.e. the entire supply chain, have also implemented a vulnerability analysis with a plan to reduce food fraud.

It is checked whether these market participants comply with the defined uniform food, product and service standards or guarantee that their customers receive exactly the quality product and service as agreed between the manufacturer/importer and the customer. IFS Broker ensures that all appropriate measures are implemented in its processes to ensure that the products supplied meet a high level of food safety and comply with the legal requirements as well as the contractually agreed requirements.

Paul M. Müller has fulfilled the current requirements of IFS Broker according to version 3.1, 2021, on July 11, 2022 at Higher Level. So with PMM you are always on the safe side, because trust is the most important thing for us.

Our expert

Thomas Schneidawind

Managing director, Contact person for Beans, capers, peppers, hot peppers and tomato products

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