IFS Logistic Certification
Large-scale retailers and manufacturers share the objective of ensuring greater transparency and efficiency across the entire agro-food supply chain, including logistic services. Up to recent times, the latter were not regulated in spite of the large number of regulatory requirements existing in the industry and the transportation and storage stages being a weak link in the supply chain, especially with regard to the cold chain.
This led German and French retailers, in cooperation with international experts, to create the IFS Logistic standard with the objective to monitor every stage between production and distribution.
The IFS Logistic standard applies to both food and non-food products and covers a large variety of logistic activities including transportation, storage, distribution, loading/unloading, etc. It also applies to all manners of controlled- or uncontrolled-temperature transportation: land, rail, sea, air, etc. Any logistic service provider may be evaluated according to IFS Logistic standard, whether they work with large-scale retailers or with food companies supplying them.
As Accredia-accredited IFS Food certification body under EN 45011, TÜV Italia is authorized by the owners of the standard to perform IFS Logistic standard verifications through qualified auditors. The main large-scale organizations in Europe promoting IFS Logistic include: Metro, Rewe, Edeka, Aldi, Lidl, Auchan, Carrefour. Italian large-scale retailers also contribute to the works and promote the spread of IFS standards.
Our services at a glance
TÜV Italia formulates a three-yearly offer for IFS Logistics certification; following acceptance by the client it issues an order confirmation in order to initiate the certification process.
The 98 requirements of the standard are divided into three main chapters:
- basic requirements which apply to all providers of logistic services (quality system management, responsibility of senior management and resource management, implementation within the company, its analysis and improvement);
- criteria for storage and distribution (hygiene management, lighting, pest control, maintenance, traceability,…)
- criteria for dedicated providers of transport services.
The IFS Logistic standard places particular emphasis on hygiene and risk management, stock management (FIFO), temperature control, housekeeping and traceability. Special attention is paid to management responsibilities, the operational management of corrective actions and personnel training. In addition, the following 3 basic requirements must be fulfilled lest the certification be denied or suspended:
- The HACCP analysis
- Commitment of senior management
- corrective actions
Each requirement is evaluated as follows:
- A: Full compliance with the requirement specified in the Standard
- B: Almost full compliance with the requirement specified in the Standard, but a small deviation was found
- C: Only a small part of the requirement has been implemented
- D: The requirement in the Standard has not been implemented
In addition, a major non-conformity may be given (leading to a subtraction of points from the total score) when a significant failure to meet a requirement or a potential health hazard is found.
A company obtains a Foundation-level certification if the score achieved is between 75% and 95% of the total attainable score, or a Higher-level certification if the score exceeds 95% of the total.
- Following these evaluations, TÜV Italia issues a final report in the format required by IFS.
Prior to issuing the certificate, TÜV Italia performs the following actions:
- management of any deficiencies found (implementation schedule and methods, verification of closure if required);
- final resolution by the TÜV Italia Approval Committee.
The certificate can be either “Higher Level” or “Foundation Level” according to the score obtained. It certifies that the company operates in compliance with the IFS Logistic scheme and is published on the IFS Portal, where it is available for view by all IFS retailers.
Validity of certification
The certification has a one-year validity. Inspection audits are conducted every 12-18 months according to the certification level obtained.