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How Do Food Certifications like IFS Help Protect the Health of Consumers?
Under the International Featured Standards (IFS) certification, there are approximately eight substandard programs (also called ‘schemes’) which help ensure the quality of products before they make it into the hands of consumers. Two of these schemes are the IFS Food and IFS Global Markets Food certifications. They ensure the production and management of anyone through the food supply chain adhere to a set of standards around their food products.
IFS Food vs IFS Global Markets Food
Consumers are protected on all sides of the supply chain. The IFS Food certification focuses on the industrial side of food production and packaging. Private companies are included in the eligible businesses to receive this achievement. On the other hand, the IFS Global Markets Food certification addresses the retail and direct sales section of the food industry. It also contains a focus on helping small businesses increase the safety and quality procedures they implement.
IFS Certification Benefits
Seamless production is one of the largest benefits of obtaining an IFS certification. This aids in decreasing product recalls, maintaining high standards, and limiting costumer dissatisfaction. Accredited individuals and certification bodies like QIMA have undergone specific training programs by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which ensures that the quality of audits to receive those certifications are valid.
Other benefits of the IFS certification are:
– Meeting uniform standards across the food supply chain
– Saving companies time and money
– Enacting solid, effective food safety and quality plans
Protection for Consumers
The GFSI created the standards in each of its certification schemes to protect both the companies producing and distributing food products as well as the consumers who buy them. IFS food standards are especially important because they prevent consumers from receiving tainted products. Poor packaging can result in contamination or accelerated decay of food products, which could make consumers sick. Along with maintaining a healthy diet, consumers should look for brands that have obtained IFS or other GFSI certifications to make sure their food is safe.
The process to get a GFSI certification is extensive. Trained auditors must analyze different aspects of a company based on the categories of the specific scheme. Some certifications are harder to achieve than others, however, all certifications maintain the same basic standards. The different GFSI certification schemes are tailored to individual parts of the food supply chain. IFS certifications, for example, are used internationally as the name suggests. They are most commonly obtained by companies in Europe but can extend to other parts of the world.
Safety, Efficiency, & Quality Are Key
The goal of the GFSI and the certification schemes within it is to unify the food industry beneath a common set of standards. These standards are high and designed to elevate the food supply chain as a whole by improving the businesses that are a part of it. Covering the industrial, retail, small business, and private business areas, the IFS certification gives peace of mind to consumers.
Renewing a GFSI certification regularly can establish a trustworthy relationship between each level of the food supply chain. From there, the healthy network of certified companies will expand little by little until the world maintains the same standards that are safe, efficient, and high quality for everyone.