About IFS

IFS Management GmbH (IFS) is a joint venture of the French retail association FCD and the German retail association HDE. We develop globally recognised product safety and quality standards and programs for companies within the food and consumer goods supply chain. We complement this with our tools and services that help companies continuously improve their quality management. Many retailers and brand

owners globally value the quality of our standards and put their trust in IFS Certification. Our standards and programs consist of requirements to assess if suppliers of private label and branded products can deliver safe, quality products in line with customer specifications. Ultimately, we want to help ensure that consumers trust that the products they find on retail shelves are safe and of good quality.

Our Goal

Our goal is to give companies the guidelines and tools to incorporate best practices, conduct appropriate risk assessments, and drive a product safety and quality culture throughout their organisations. We accomplish this with the professional expertise of retailers, manufacturers, certification bodies, and other experts worldwide.

Our Offers

We comprise a portfolio of global safety and quality standards and programs that ensure transparency and comparability along the supply chain, including trade-specific and logistical activities. IFS Standards and Programs apply to a wide range of businesses and services in the food and non-food sectors.  

All IFS Standards and Programs take a risk-based and non-prescriptive approach, allowing companies the flexibility to implement the requirements based on the specific risks related to the products and processes in their business.
We offer a unique package of helpful digital tools and guidance documents to support companies working with IFS.  

The IFS Network

Our various committees ensure that our standards and programs meet the market's expectations. We are proud to work with experienced experts and professionals from leading retailers, manufacturers, certification bodies, services providers, and consultants in all IFS Committees.  

  • The IFS Board is responsible for the strategic approach of IFS concerning business development. 
  • The IFS International Technical Committee (ITC) takes final decisions about the technical content and approves the standards and programs. 
  • The national and specific working groups are responsible for the detailed technical development of the IFS Standards, Programs, and other services. IFS has national Working Groups in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. Specific working groups are concerned with quality assurance, auditor exams, coordination with certification bodies, and developing new standard or program versions. 

Our history

In 2003, the German Retail Federation (HDE) and the French Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution (FCD) introduced an international food safety and quality standard, the International Food Standard. This standard served to standardise the verification of food safety and quality assurance systems of private label food products suppliers and is the foundation of all the IFS Standards. 

Recognising the need to ensure food and product safety and integrity throughout the supply chain, we embarked on a mission to develop additional standards; Wholesale/Cash & Carry, Logistics, Broker, Household and Personal Care products (HPC), and PACsecure for packaging materials. It led to the current name International Featured Standards (IFS), describing our family of standards, programs, tools, and services.  

Today, together with our network, we continue to assess market needs and develop standards, programs, and tools to help companies continually improve and stay on top of their game.