The issue of food fraud has grown in importance rapidly in recent years: Nearly all food safety standards now require a system to combat fraud. However, it is not just food that can be affected, but also packaging materials. In a new guide, IFS has now summarized how companies can comply with the product fraud requirements of the various IFS standards.

What is meant by "food fraud" we probably don't need to explain to you anymore. It's hard to imagine any GFSI-approved food safety standard without the term. But the discussion goes beyond the food industry. Packaging and other products are also at risk for fraud. The term "product fraud" is therefore used as an umbrella term.

The new IFS guide on Product Fraud is available free of charge on the IFS homepage and describes how companies can meet the requirements of the Standards IFS Food 6.1, IFS PACsecure 1.1 and IFS Logistics 2.2. can be complied with. Click here to go to the download.

Understanding the requirements

The guide does not impose any new requirements on certified sites, but rather explains and illustrates the existing requirements of the above standards. Essentially, the standards require three items:

  • A vulnerability assessment to identify fraud risks.
  • The implementation of a documented plan to combat product fraud, including control mechanisms
  • A regular evaluation and, if necessary, updating of the risk analysis and the plan

However, the standards do not further define how a vulnerability assessment should be conducted. For the plan to combat product fraud, it is also not specified how the plan should be set up.

This is where the guide comes in. It describes how companies can conduct a vulnerability assessment, distinguishing between a product-specific risk analysis and a supplier-specific risk analysis. The evaluation of these two elements results in a risk assessment, which forms the basis of the plan to combat product fraud.

In the appendix: Examples and audit questions

Have you gotten into the habit of skipping appendices? In the case of the IFS Guide, it pays to read on. Appendices I and II apply the theory in a case study. Last but not least, Appendix III helps you prepare for the audit. You will find there a list of questions that auditors like to ask during the audit in relation to Product Fraud.

Dr. Thijs Willaert

Dr. Thijs Willaert is Global Director Sustainability Services. In this role, he is responsible for the entire ESG service portfolio of DQS. His areas of interest include sustainable procurement, human rights due diligence and ESG audits.