In June 2019, IFS released Version 3 of the IFS Broker Standard. The new version reflects the changing expectations of the market with regard to product safety. Certified sites need to be aware of a number of new requirements, particularly in relation to food fraud mitigation and risk assessments. In this article, we provide an overview of the main changes as well as the transition process.
While most of the standard has remain unchanged, there are three big changes in Version 3 we would like to draw your attention to:
- New requirements for food fraud mitigation: section 4.7 of the standard, focusing on food fraud, is entirely new. It requires certified sites to conduct a food fraud vulnerability assessment for al purchased products. Based on this vulnerability assessment, the site shall develop and implement a documented food fraud mitigation plan, which needs to monitor and control all identified risks. Sites are also required to ensure that their suppliers meet these same requirements.
- More detailed requirements for the risk management system: the expectations for the risk management system have been expanded. The revised requirements are listed in section 2.3. While many of the requirements stand in continuity with the previous version, we recommend certified sites to evaluate whether their current risk management approach complies with the requirements of IFS Broker Version 3.
- Unannounced audits: due to the increasing requirements of the market, IFS has decided to create a process for unannounced audits against the IFS Broker Standard. Unannounced audits remain optional. The process is described in Part 5 of the standard.
Besides these changes, there are many small changes and adjustments to the standard, most of which are intended to improve readability and clarity. Please keep in mind that this article is a summary of the main changes, rather than a complete overview of all changes.
Transition & Timeline
The timeline for certified sites to make the transition from Version 2 to Version 3 is as follows:
- Before January 2, 2020: Version 2 remains the only valid version
- Between January 2 and May 31, 2020: companies can choose to be audited to Version 2 or Version 3
- From June 1, 2020 onwards: all audits will be according to Version 3
The IFS Broker Version 3 Standard is available for download here. At the moment, the standard is only available in English, but other languages will follow soon.
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