The event took place on the 3rd of October at Extenda’s Andalusian Agency for Promotion Abroad facilities. It was attended by quality managers and directors of Andalusian food SMEs, consultants and even other certification bodies.
The main objective of the workshop was to compare the IFS Global Markets evaluation to other benchmarks and create a knowledge-sharing forum for all parties involved in the process of implementing and evaluating IFS Global Markets.
Applus+ Certification and EXTENDA opened the workshop, which featured the following speakers: María Soledad Sánchez Ceferino, Food Safety Consultant at Bahalis Business Solution S.L.; Jesús Ordónez, from the MAKRO Quality Department; Beatriz Torres Carrió, Senior Quality Assurance Manager at IFS; and Sierra Pajares, Technical Manager Food & Agriculture at Applus+ Certification.
Soledad Sánchez (consultant at Bahalis Business Solution, S.L.) presented the scheme’s implementation and monitoring system, the different levels available and how to access each one of them.
Jesús Ordóñez highlighted the great potential of the IFS Global Markets standard which, thanks to its alignment with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), enjoys international consumer and market confidence. It facilitates the supplier approval process for large distribution chains such as MAKRO. As he stated in his presentation, “a company which has been evaluated according to the IFS Global Markets standard could reduce the number of supplier audits carried out by different retailers”. Certification to this standard also demonstrates a strong commitment to obtaining the IFS Food certification in the medium term.
Beatriz Torres Carrió, Senior Quality Assurance Manager at IFS Spain, gave a presentation on the origins and evolution of this programme. She spoke of the initial difficulties which companies had with implementation and the significant transformation which they experienced during the process. However, she emphasised how businesses gradually noticed the benefits of the certification and encouraged companies which were still unsure to obtain the IFS Food certification and embark on the prior assessment for IFS Global Markets. During her presentation, Beatriz Torres Carrió showed a very illustrative video which explained what the IFS Global Markets standard is and who it is for, its benefits and how it is implemented.
On behalf of Applus+ Certification, Sierra Pajares (Technical Manager Food & Agriculture) explained what the evaluation process involves from the point of view of the certifying body, as well as the training and qualification requirements for the auditors who evaluate this scheme.
At the workshop, breakfast was offered by CATER-LINE. This company has been in the IFS Global Markets Food programme for two years, evaluated by Applus+ Certification. The CATER-LINE Quality Manager, Jesús Guerrero, explained to participants what the implementation of the standard meant to them, as well as the opportunities which it offers. This no doubt left all of the participants with a good taste in their mouths.
This was a truly multidisciplinary workshop, in which the viewpoints of all stakeholders in the process of implementation and improvement of the standard were taken on board. This created a unique forum for debate, in which all of the professionals spoke of their experience with the IFS Global Markets standard.
In conclusion, this workshop confirmed that a tool such as IFS Global Markets helps to improve the internal processes of a company at the same time as assuring increasingly demanding consumers that the company has a strong commitment to developing quality products.
IFS Global Markets is a tool available to small and/or less established companies allowing them to set up a management system and gradually implement the IFS standards within a set time frame.
This certification allows SMEs to guarantee their commitment to quality and food safety based on internationally recognised criteria.