With a growing number of all kinds of food manufacturers and the compiling of various food safety standards, retailers and wholesalers began to feel the need of the existence of some common criteria for assessing the manufacturers of retailer or wholesaler branded food products.
The first to respond to that need was German Retailers Association (HDE – Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels) that in 2002 developed a common audit standard called International Food Standard or IFS which took into consideration the retailers’ wishes. In 2003, French Retailers Association (FCD – Federation des Enterprises du Commerce et de la Distribution) joined an IFS working group and contributed to the development of the fourth version of the standard. Later on, the Italian Retailers Association joined the team and contributed to the issue of the fifth version of the IFS standard – International Food Standard – Standard for Auditing Retailer (and Wholesaler) Branded Food products in August 2007.
Slovene food manufacturers supplying their food products to large European or world’s retailers/wholesalers penetrating the Slovene market must meet their particular requirements for food safety. Due to the issue of the IFS standard, more and more of these foreign retailers/wholesalers now require of Slovene manufacturers of food products marketed under retailers’/wholesalers’ brand names to be IFS certified.
The IFS standard combines the requirements of the HACCP system according to the Codex Alimentarius with the principles of good business and hygiene practices, and requirements for traceability and labelling of food products. Organizations already holding one of the ISO management system certificates (ISO 22000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and the like) or even a HACCP system certificate have advantage over those without such a certificate and can acquire an IFS certificate with less strain.