IFS joins the GSES System
IFS – International Food Services – is an international, independent maritime catering company which serves the crew of over 600 vessels healthy, delicious food. Contributing to a more ethical shipping business by providing sustainable and healthy food solutions is part of the company’s DNA. In a bid to extend their social impact, they recently joined the GSES System, a generic international overarching standard based on international ISO standards, the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
A perfect match between sustainability and efficiency
Although by nature IFS is already quite a socially responsible company, they wanted to make their approach more fact based. IFS helps their clients to economize by providing a food monitoring system, which allows for precise reporting on stocks, consumptions, nutrition intake and transparent budget control. Likewise, they wanted to measure and monitor their own company – and its individual projects – on the SDG’s. And with the SDG Organization Index, which is present in the GSES platform, this is now possible.
The primary aim of IFS is to increase the buying power of their customers by reducing waste and increasing efficiency. This mission promises both a focus on corporate social responsibility as well as on profitability. According to Ron Meijer, Account Manager at IFS, “you don’t have to choose between efficiency and sustainability: providing healthy food the way we do guarantees both.”
Support for local communities & quality
IFS caters in 100 different countries and tries to buy almost everything local. This both supports and strengthens the local communities where they operate, but it also ensures the food is fresh and of the highest quality. Moreover, buying locally is the most cost-efficient way to procure the necessary ingredients for a tasty meal. IFS wants to invest in long-term relationships with its suppliers (and customers as well). They guarantee the quality of their suppliers by, among other things, an extensive Supplier Code of Conduct. This Code Of Conduct is totally in line with the requirements of the UN Global Compact and therefore also meets the base of the GSES System requirements.
IFS invests a lot in training of the chefs. Not only to improve their cooking skills, but also to make them more aware of the impact they – and their food – have on health, safety and well-being on board. A happy and well-trained cook will do the best he can with the available fresh ingredients and create the best possible meal for the crew. To realize this, they get a lot of autonomy and are directed at output, not input.
Circular purchasing and zero waste
The focus to buy fresh and locally, to produce less waste and to cook creatively – key parts of the Environmental Policy of IFS – not only benefits the local communities, the happiness of the cooks and the morale on board. It will also put a big smile on the face of the person responsible for the budget. IFS’ performance software and management system, together with their many years of experience on the work floor, provides these captains with real, actionable, insight in the consumption on board. This will assist them to actively steer for more efficiency, less waste and healthier food for the crew. Kelly Ruigrok of NDI / GSES System comments :”With the services of IFS you can actually have a zero waste vessel!” Which of course is both good for the environment and your wallet.