IFS is a private standard of the German Retailers Association (HDE) and the French Retailers Association (FCD) in accordance to the requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Its structure and requirements are similar to those of BRC. This standard concerns food processing companies and companies that pack loose food products.
The IFS standard demands the compliance of companies with the relevant laws about food. The certified companies are accepted by the German, French and, since recently, the Italian Retailers Association (ticket to trade), besides strengthening their credibility. Furthermore, a reduction of customer audits is achieved since the audit information can be accessed by the customers through the certification body.