The QS scheme (acronym of “Qualität & Sicherheit”, translated as Quality & Safety) is a certification scheme designed to provide a uniform food quality assurance from the field or farm to the shop counter.
The QS agro-food certification scheme comprises about 20 organizational and monitoring norms which result in a coordinated supply chain system. It applies to feeds, meat (particularly poultry and pork) as well as fruit and vegetables. Each norm details the requirements to meet according to the stage of the supply chain in question (e.g. primary production, slaughtering, processing, retailing or wholesaling).
As TÜV SÜD Group’s representative in Italy, TÜV Italia can issue a QS certificate through its German motherhouse as a QS-recognized and EN 45011-accredited Inspection Body.
The objective of the QS scheme is to achieve safe food production for consumers through an independent management and monitoring of individual market players. Key principles in the verification procedure include:
- purchasing only from certified suppliers (closed chain);
- recording and monitoring of the production process;
- product safety;
- consumer/user confidence.
Monitoring activities cover feed production up to food marketing. Each stage of the supply chain is subject to specific standards, the proper application of which is monitored separately for each partner of the scheme and, based on positive test results, is confirmed through the issue of a certificate. Products can bear the QS mark only when all production stages have been successfully audited.