In the past few years, almost every standard for food and consumer goods safety has incorporated additional requirements for combatting product fraud. This has left certified sites with many questions about the implementation of a product fraud mitigation plan. The new guideline published by IFS is a practical guide that will help companies implement the requirements of the various IFS Standards.
Although many people still associate product fraud with the food industry, and therefore the IFS Food Standard, product fraud can occur at any point within the supply chain and can involve fraud with packaging materials as well. With this in mind, the newly published IFS Guide focuses on the correct implementation of IFS Food Version 6.1, IFS PACsecure 1.1 and IFS Logistics 2.2.
The Guide is available from the IFS website free of charge – click here to download your copy.
Understanding the Requirements
The guide itself does not provide any additional requirements for certification – rather, it explains and illustrates the requirements of the above-named standards. In essence, the standards require certified sites to do three things:
- To conduct a vulnerability assessment in order to assess the risk of product fraud
- To implement a product fraud mitigation plan, which puts the necessary controls in place
- To review the assessment and the mitigation plan as needed to ensure their effectiveness
The new guide outlines how a vulnerability assessment can be conducted, distinguishing between a product vulnerability assessment and a supplier vulnerability assessment. It also illustrates how a mitigation plan can be made, based on the risk level of products and suppliers.
Don’t forget the Appendices
If you are tempted to skip the appendices, don’t: Appendix 1 and 2 provide a very useful example of how to apply the measures in practice. Appendix 3 is helpful in prepraring the certification audit: it gives an overview of the questions an auditor can ask in relation to product fraud, as well as the documents you will need to be able to provide the auditor with.