Brokers, take note: Version 3 of the IFS Broker standard has been released. The revision reflects the market's changing expectations for product safety. Certified sites will face some new requirements, especially related to food fraud and risk management. In this article, we provide an overview of the key changes, as well as all the information on the transition process.

Although the majority of the standard remains unchanged, there are three major changes in Version 3 that we would like to bring to your attention:

  • A completely new subchapter (4.7) is dedicated to the topic of Food Fraud. Certified companies are expected to conduct a so-called vulnerability assessment for all purchased products in order to determine the risks related to substitution, mislabeling, adulteration or imitation. Based on this analysis, a documented risk mitigation plan must be implemented. Additionally, companies must ensure that their suppliers have also conducted a vulnerability analysis and implemented a risk mitigation plan.
  • More detailed requirements for the risk management system: The expectations for the risk management system have been expanded. The revised requirements are listed in Section 2.3. Although many of the requirements are consistent with the previous version, we recommend that certified sites conduct timely audits to determine whether their current risk management approach meets the requirements of the IFS Broker Standard version 3.
  • Unannounced audits: Due to increasing market demands, IFS has decided to establish a process for unannounced audits under the IFS Broker Standard. Unannounced audits remain optional. The procedure is described in part 5 of the standard.

In addition to these changes, ISO Broker Version 3 has been improved in terms of readability and clarity. Please note that this post is a summary of the major changes and not a complete overview of all changes.

Schedule of the changeover

The timeline for the transition from version 2 to version 3 is as follows:

  • Until January 2, 2020: version 2 remains the valid version.
  • From Jan. 2 to May 31, 2020: companies have a choice of whether to certify to version 2 or 3
  • From June 1, 2020: all audits will be conducted according to version 3

Further information

The IFS Broker Version 3 Standard is available for download here. Currently the standard is only available in English, but other languages will follow soon.

DQS - Your partner for certification according to the IFS Broker Standard

DQS CFS GmbH is a certification body approved for IFS Broker. We are at your disposal with a worldwide network of highly qualified auditors.

Constanze Illner

Constanze Illner (she/her) is Research and Communications Officer in the area of sustainability and food safety. In this position, she keeps an eye on all important developments in this context and informs our clientele in a monthly newsletter. She also moderates the annual Sustainability Heroes conference.


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