In 2002 in order to set up a common food safety standard, the HDE (Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels) have developed a common standard inspected under the name of International Food Standard, IFS.In 2003, French retailers and wholesalers from the FCD (Federation des enterprises du Commerce et de la Distribution) came in cooperation with the Working Group of IFS and contributed to the development of the 4 th edition of the IFS.
The certification on the basis of the standard IFS is an important basis on which they can rely on the food businesses to export their products to Germany and France, as more and more retailers in these countries seek IFS certificate from their suppliers. The regulation of the standard defines a quantified assessment system requirements have been met and the outcome of the assessment is expressed on a percentage basis.Thus, the customer of a supplier can evaluate quantitatively the performance of his vendor.
Very important is the potential that the standard gives for an evaluation and certification at two levels: HIGHER LEVEL and FOUNDATION LEVEL as the body can assess its potential to meet the relevant requirements. Generally, the requirements of the standard, representing FOUNDATION LEVEL regarded as minimum requirements that must be met by a dody in the international food industry. In HIGHER LEVEL included demands a higher level, while the standard includes requirements called RECOMMENDATIONS representing «the best practice» in the area of food.