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IFS recognized in the UK?


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#1 Slab

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:10 PM

Quick question to verify a statement from a potential auditing body.  They do not offer IFS or FSSC certs, only BRC and SQF.  They state that ISF is not recognized in the UK.  I'm not sure why, but would appreciate a second opinion.  A forum search would possibly take me a lifetime for an answer.

 

I was leaning more towards IFS because of customer base in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium, and a strong interest in our MSC product. 

Thanks.


Edited by Slab, 18 February 2014 - 09:11 PM.

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#2 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:14 PM

Not sure about its recognition in the UK but I think German retails may demand you are IFS certified i.e. they will not accept another GFSI standard.

 

George


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 05:07 AM

Quick question to verify a statement from a potential auditing body.  They do not offer IFS or FSSC certs, only BRC and SQF.  They state that ISF is not recognized in the UK.  I'm not sure why, but would appreciate a second opinion.  A forum search would possibly take me a lifetime for an answer.

 

I was leaning more towards IFS because of customer base in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium, and a strong interest in our MSC product. 

Thanks.

Dear slab,

 

It depends what you/they meant by recognised, eg recognised by Whom  ?

 

AFAIK, IFS-Food Standard is benchmarked to GFSI.

 

But many (most?) UK buyers may well specify certification by suppliers to other standards than IFS.

 

Also see this -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...tes/#entry69167

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


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#4 Slab

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:30 AM

Not sure about its recognition in the UK but I think German retails may demand you are IFS certified i.e. they will not accept another GFSI standard.

 

George

 

That was my impression, given that it's of German design.  I also like the support in Asia as we export product for processing there via 3rd party.

 

 

 

Dear slab,

 

It depends what you/they meant by recognised, eg recognised by Whom  ?

 

AFAIK, IFS-Food Standard is benchmarked to GFSI.

 

But many (most?) UK buyers may well specify certification by suppliers to other standards than IFS.

 

Also see this -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...tes/#entry69167

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

I can only assume they mean recognized by distributors. And IFS is a GFSI scheme, or at least it is recognized GFSI by NSF (but not Silliker for whatever reasons).  

So in a nutshell, it appears that GFSI is less global than intended (interesting read in the linked thread)? I'm new to global FS accreditation having only GMP level implementation and auditing procedures.  My company decided yesterday per customer request that we will be GFSI by Sept 1st.  

 

So it would appear that multiple bodies may be required for GFSI to reach regional satisfaction/acceptance? Is there "one ring to rule them all" GFSI scheme for the broadest market (Europe, East Asia, USA)? Or will this be a matter multiple certs?

 

Sorry if I digressed from the OP. 


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

Dear Slab,

 

If you take some time to read through the development histories of the "Big  Four and a Half" the (relatively) unpublicised manouevring  behind the scenes occasionally reads a bit like Dallas of the Food Sector. :smile:

 

IMO, all these standards have their own particular flavour, or perhaps more accurately, geographic peculiarities. How much this is dictated by, for example, cultural variations and  legal factors within the primary originating sources of the standards is unclear. They may all (well Four anyway) satisfy the minimum requirements of GFSI but some of them certainly branch substantially out into non-FS areas also.

 

You might find it interesting to study the (few) threads here within the IFS category. My own impression (not a direct user)  from the possibly unrepresentative content therein is that the IFS standard is even weirder than BRC and SQF in terms of "interpretation". However i guess the impact of any such  strangenesses may depend  on the external resources which are available to you, ie yr budget. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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#6 Slab

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:59 PM

Thanks, Charles.  It looks as if BRC is a go.  Time to hit the books!


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#7 moskito

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:40 PM

Hi Slab,

 

we are certified acc IFS and BRC. We want to start FSSC 22000 but only if we can leave IFS or BRC. To skip IFS is not really a chance for German company. We were not successful in discussion with UK retailers doing audits on their on today in our plants to skip BRC. So we stay with IFS and BRC.

 

Regards

moskito


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#8 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 08:14 AM

Dear Slab,

 

Which GFSI-approved certification your company wants to go for, really depends on your customers.

In general:

- German, Italian and French retailers request for IFS;

- Britisch retailers request BRC;

- Dutch and Belgium accept both ot either;

However I have seen deviations from this list and sometimes German retailers accept BRC and sometimes Britisch retailers accept IFS.

It is best to ask your largest/most important customers, if they have preference for one or the other and after that decide which GFSI approved certificate to go for.

 

If you are selling through a agent or broker that is IFS certificate --> you should be certificated against IFS (this is a requirement of IFS Broker)

 

By the way, there should be CBs that are profiding IFS certification in the UK.

I think it is a strange attitude to say that this is not certificated by the CB, because this is not recognised by the retailers in UK. Probably this CB does not have a qualified IFS auditor (there is a lack of IFS auditors) or this CB, situated in UK, do not want to spend money to keep auditors qualified for this standard, because they have not enough customers wich request for this standard. 

 


Edited by Madam A. D-tor, 24 February 2014 - 08:18 AM.

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#9 monkeyman

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 10:36 AM

We only make our brand of products and every customer in the UK accepts IFS for this. I know that if you are making Retailer Branded products they all have different requirements.

 

IFS audit is difficult to have in the UK as there don't seem to be any trained auditors (lack of demand I guess). 


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#10 Charles Chew

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 06:59 AM

 

Madam A. D-tor - I think it is a strange attitude to say that this is not certificated by the CB, because this is not recognised by the retailers in UK. Probably this CB does not have a qualified IFS auditor (there is a lack of IFS auditors) or this CB, situated in UK, do not want to spend money to keep auditors qualified for this standard, because they have not enough customers which request for this standard.

 

Slab - I agree with the above possibility and sadly, the CB you dealt with was indeed very unprofessional. At the end of the day, there are numerous approved schemes recognized by GFSI. You will need to decide which one(s) is relevant for your business requirement. 


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#11 Slab

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 01:16 PM

By the way, there should be CBs that are profiding IFS certification in the UK.

I think it is a strange attitude to say that this is not certificated by the CB, because this is not recognised by the retailers in UK. Probably this CB does not have a qualified IFS auditor (there is a lack of IFS auditors) or this CB, situated in UK, do not want to spend money to keep auditors qualified for this standard, because they have not enough customers wich request for this standard. 

 

 

Slab - I agree with the above possibility and sadly, the CB you dealt with was indeed very unprofessional. At the end of the day, there are numerous approved schemes recognized by GFSI. You will need to decide which one(s) is relevant for your business requirement. 

 

The response from the CB raised suspicion since they do not offer IFS cert.  and have been servicing our company with GMP for five years.  I can only assume that this was financially motivated. 

We have decided to move on to another CB that offers all schemes (for future market adoption) and a reputable GMP auditing program for our landing facility.

Looks as if SQF II is scheduled with pre-assessment and certifying audit Jul-Sept.  

 

 

Thank you all for the invaluable input.


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#12 trubertq

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 08:06 PM

My client has been asked to get IFS for French Customers, and one of the large Cbs have IFS certified auditors as I had to find out. We're not going ahead until 2015. It's customer driven I'm afraid.

 

They have BRC Grade A and have never had so many customer audits so the whole certification thing is a cod IMO wrt lowering the number of audits.

 

 I like it for keeping the FSMS up to spec though nothing like a definite audit date to focus the minds.


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#13 SQFconsultant

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:04 PM

IFS is GFSI benchmarked and it's a terrific certification program. The statement you mention that a CB said is wrong and was made because, well gee; they don't offer IFS in their line-up.

 

IFS has thousands upon thousands of certifications around the world, spotty in some but it's got a certain something that is really cool for companies that may not be able to comply fully with the quick close out of non-food safety impact CARs.


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