Brokers and importers play an important role in the value chain since they have a strong influence on the supply chain through their choice of suppliers. Trading partners expect brokers and importers to communicate their product requirements to manufacturers and that these will be understood and implemented. For this reason IFS has developed the new standard IFS Broker for brokers and importers in order to examine how these processes are implemented. The new standard has been created on the basis of IFS Food and incorporates experience gained in supplier audits in the retail trade.
The new IFS Broker checks to see whether brokers / importers have implemented appropriate measures in their processes to ensure that their suppliers operate in accordance with food safety and quality requirements and to monitor compliance in order for the products supplied to meet legal requirements and contractual specifications.
Differences to IFS Food:
- The HACCP concept has been substantially reduced
- The demands on the manufacturing process have been removed
- The demands on the infrastructure and the working environment have been removed
If brokers / importers have their own warehouse and conduct transportation on their own behalf, these parts of their operations must be certified in accordance with IFS Logistic.
This has given rise to a modular system of certification that can be applied in a flexible way to the processes of brokers and importers.
IFS Broker has been developed in such a way that it can be used for all brokers irrespective of the products. The original HACCP concept has been adapted in such a way that it can be applied to brokers in the Food area and also used to assess risk management in the areas of Non-Food and HPC.
IFS Broker is initially only being offered to brokers / importers. After IFS HPC is introduced in early 2010, IFS Broker will be extended to include the product scope of IFS HPC. Brokers / importers of Non-Food products not covered by IFS HPC will be able to be audited in accordance with IFS HPC from the middle of 2010 onwards when the training modules for auditors have been completed.