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IFS Broker to IFS Global Markets Food - Food

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SarahIFS

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Posted 08 November 2022 - 03:58 PM

Hi guys, I am in a bit of a loss at the moment... maybe someone here can help me, or at least give me some direction.

 

A little backstory, this might be a bit of a rant...

 

We have a small company in dietary supplements and superfoods, located in The Netherlands.

We buy the raw material. Warehousing, sample testing, packaging etc. is all outsourced. 

At the moment we are IFS Broker certified, only since last month (September 2022).

 

The road to certification was a wobbly one... we hired a consultant to provide us with all the required IFS documentation and to guide us through getting certified (Februari 2022). Sadly, this person was not qualified.

Basically, he only copied the IFS Broker guideline, modified some things. For the procedures he just gave us some documents from another customer of his, which was for the wrong scope (fruit and vegetables), with no food fraud vulnerability assessments, no product specific risk analyses and the list goes on.

Halfway this mess (April 2022) I started my job at our company not even for quality assurance but for product development. I was a store manager for 12 years but do have a Nutrition and Dietetics bachelors degree. Nevertheless, this was a huge switch for me and I had to learn / refresh a lot of things.

The colleague who was responsible for quality arranged for us to be audited but did not look at the documentation provided by our 'consultant'. So she mentioned we were going to be audited one month prior and I suggested we'd take a look at everything which was when we learned we had been scammed. So in the month before the audit we had to rewrite all the procedures etc.

Miraculously, we passed the audit. The CAP was quite a challenge as well but somehow we managed. Halfway through, my colleague got sick and I was on my own. 

 

So now my boss has decided he wants to start a production facility of our own starting halfway next year.

Yesterday I also learned my colleague will not return and starting from now, my job is Quality Manager. 

 

So I believe the most logical step is for us to become IFS Food certified.

I am already reading the guideline but there is just so much information.

 

Now here are my questions:

I saw there is also the standard IFS Global Markets Food. Does anyone have any experience with this? Would this be the better decision? I asked the company that did our certification but they are slow.

 

Anyone here made the switch from Broker to Food?

 

Any tips on good IFS consultants in The Netherlands? Would it be wise to get one, as we managed to get the Broker by ourselves.

 

I think I have a ton more questions, I just don't know where to start and here at work I don't have any colleagues who I can ask. 

 



Tony-C

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Posted 09 November 2022 - 07:20 AM

Hi Sarah,

 

:welcome:

 

Welcome to the IFSQN forums

 

As a company, you will need to decide if certification to the IFS Global Markets Food Programme will be acceptable to your customers?

 

Your current broker certification is to a standard recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Only by maintaining that or progressing to IFS Food may be acceptable to your customers as most prefer certification to a GFSI benchmarked standard.

 

IFSQN offer the IFS Food Safety and Quality Management System - Version 7 Implementation Package which I would think would be useful but how useful would depend on the size of your organisation.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



Charles.C

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Posted 10 November 2022 - 05:09 AM

Hi guys, I am in a bit of a loss at the moment... maybe someone here can help me, or at least give me some direction.

 

A little backstory, this might be a bit of a rant...

 

We have a small company in dietary supplements and superfoods, located in The Netherlands.

We buy the raw material. Warehousing, sample testing, packaging etc. is all outsourced. 

At the moment we are IFS Broker certified, only since last month (September 2022).

 

The road to certification was a wobbly one... we hired a consultant to provide us with all the required IFS documentation and to guide us through getting certified (Februari 2022). Sadly, this person was not qualified.

Basically, he only copied the IFS Broker guideline, modified some things. For the procedures he just gave us some documents from another customer of his, which was for the wrong scope (fruit and vegetables), with no food fraud vulnerability assessments, no product specific risk analyses and the list goes on.

Halfway this mess (April 2022) I started my job at our company not even for quality assurance but for product development. I was a store manager for 12 years but do have a Nutrition and Dietetics bachelors degree. Nevertheless, this was a huge switch for me and I had to learn / refresh a lot of things.

The colleague who was responsible for quality arranged for us to be audited but did not look at the documentation provided by our 'consultant'. So she mentioned we were going to be audited one month prior and I suggested we'd take a look at everything which was when we learned we had been scammed. So in the month before the audit we had to rewrite all the procedures etc.

Miraculously, we passed the audit. The CAP was quite a challenge as well but somehow we managed. Halfway through, my colleague got sick and I was on my own. 

 

So now my boss has decided he wants to start a production facility of our own starting halfway next year.

Yesterday I also learned my colleague will not return and starting from now, my job is Quality Manager. 

 

So I believe the most logical step is for us to become IFS Food certified.

I am already reading the guideline but there is just so much information.

 

Now here are my questions:

I saw there is also the standard IFS Global Markets Food. Does anyone have any experience with this? Would this be the better decision? I asked the company that did our certification but they are slow.

 

Anyone here made the switch from Broker to Food?

 

Any tips on good IFS consultants in The Netherlands? Would it be wise to get one, as we managed to get the Broker by ourselves.

 

I think I have a ton more questions, I just don't know where to start and here at work I don't have any colleagues who I can ask. 

Hi Sarah,

 

Welcome to the Forum !

 

Based on yr OP I'm rather amazed/impressed that you passed the audit ( :thumbup: ). I deduce that either the auditor was exceptionally generous or you are perhaps understating your FS competences. I suspect the latter. :smile:.

 

I'm unfamiliar with the GFSI/IFS Brokerage requirements but you make no mention in OP of technical topics such as HACCP for which I anticipate that some familiarity will be/was necessary even for a Broker Certification.

 

With respect to the specific query in OP, I'm not in yr geographical area but I would anticipate that, In addition to the option mentioned in Post 2, internationally established Organisations such as SGS, DNV etc are well suitable for Consultant purposes. A look at  their websites will give you a brief idea of their Services and IMEX such Companies are only too willing to further expand on their capabilities.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


SarahIFS

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Posted 10 November 2022 - 10:44 AM

Hi Sarah,

 

:welcome:

 

Welcome to the IFSQN forums

 

As a company, you will need to decide if certification to the IFS Global Markets Food Programme will be acceptable to your customers?

 

Your current broker certification is to a standard recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Only by maintaining that or progressing to IFS Food may be acceptable to your customers as most prefer certification to a GFSI benchmarked standard.

 

IFSQN offer the IFS Food Safety and Quality Management System - Version 7 Implementation Package which I would think would be useful but how useful would depend on the size of your organisation.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

Our customers do require from us to be GFSI.

So if we decide on IFS Global Markets Food, we would need to uphold our IFS Broker alongside that.

That's really helpful, I did not yet learn that the IFS Global Markets Food isn't GFSI, but it does make sense now that you mention it!

 

Thanks for the tip on the manual, budget is kinda tight but I will keep it in mind.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sarah



SarahIFS

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Posted 10 November 2022 - 10:51 AM

Hi Sarah,

 

Welcome to the Forum !

 

Based on yr OP I'm rather amazed/impressed that you passed the audit ( :thumbup: ). I deduce that either the auditor was exceptionally generous or you are perhaps understating your FS competences. I suspect the latter. :smile:.

 

I'm unfamiliar with the GFSI/IFS Brokerage requirements but you make no mention in OP of technical topics such as HACCP for which I anticipate that some familiarity will be/was necessary even for a Broker Certification.

 

With respect to the specific query in OP, I'm not in yr geographical area but I would anticipate that, In addition to the option mentioned in Post 2, internationally established Organisations such as SGS, DNV etc are well suitable for Consultant purposes. A look at  their websites will give you a brief idea of their Services and IMEX such Companies are only too willing to further expand on their capabilities.

 

Hi Charles,

 

Thanks! I think it is a combination of both. The audit was 2 days. First day we got slaughtered, second day we clarified what had happened and the auditor kind seemed much more understanding.

 

Yes, we do need to have HACCP. We have a CCP for each product.

 

I will look at your suggestions! SGS & DNV

 

Kind regards, 

 

Sarah



DFdk

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Posted 11 November 2022 - 11:48 AM

I would suggest to hire some help.

 

To be IFS broker and possibly IFS Food certified, with un-announced audits in rotation of at least every 3rd year, you simply need to have some extra hands onboard.

 

Regarding the switch between the 2 standards;

will your company keep both activities under the same company? - or perhaps create another company for the production?

If yes, i would talk to your customers. Does they actually require you to keep your IFS broker? 

 

I think i would have a hard time with maintaining a IFS broker certification, with own facility, but of course not impossible,

since other companies are both IFS broker and Food certified.

 

And finally, if the budget is tight. I would keep the IFS broker and exclude your own production. Keep it "un-certified" until the budget is there.



SarahIFS

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Posted 14 November 2022 - 09:09 AM

I would suggest to hire some help.

 

To be IFS broker and possibly IFS Food certified, with un-announced audits in rotation of at least every 3rd year, you simply need to have some extra hands onboard.

 

Regarding the switch between the 2 standards;

will your company keep both activities under the same company? - or perhaps create another company for the production?

If yes, i would talk to your customers. Does they actually require you to keep your IFS broker? 

 

I think i would have a hard time with maintaining a IFS broker certification, with own facility, but of course not impossible,

since other companies are both IFS broker and Food certified.

 

And finally, if the budget is tight. I would keep the IFS broker and exclude your own production. Keep it "un-certified" until the budget is there.

I will get some help, contacted SGS.

 

We will continue the broker activities as well. We have organic products too, which I thought was best to keep outsourced for a while production wise, because certification for that is required too and they are quite strict (as they should be :)).

 

I got a reply from our certifying body, they said we need IFS Food as well as Broker, it will be a combined audit.

 

Management is very set on a production facility of our own, it would improve lead times significantly. 

 

I think I'll go with your advise and further complete/perfect all of the IFS Broker system we have now and get a better score next audit. (We got 91.5% last time.)

We can set up our production and keep it uncertified for a while. I'll get some help with setting up all the IFS Food stuff for it, and get it audited once I feel confident enough. 

We have one large retail customer at first for which we would supply the products from our own line. They do require GSFI but they are very easy on us. I know that is not really the way to go, which is why I want things to be in order. 



Manocska

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Posted 22 June 2023 - 08:29 AM

Dear Sarah,

 

I am from Belgium. We are now years certified with IFS Global markets food. I think I can help you if you have concreat questions.

Send me PM ****email address removed***

 

Cheers


Edited by Simon, 23 June 2023 - 05:26 PM.
email address removed as per terms and conditions




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