The full name of the organisation is the "International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations" or just IUF for short, which is a world-wide federation of trades unions representing workers employed in: agriculture and plantations, the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages, all stages of tobacco processing and in hotels, restaurants catering services and the tourism industry. In total it has 326 affiliated unions representing over 10 million workers in 118 countries.

The federation ws founded in 1920 by the merger of the previously existing international federations for bakery, brewery and meat workers, when it was known as the International Union of Food and Drink Workers. Its membership was largely European until after World War II when it expanded its reach to the rest of the world.

It adopted its current form and name following mergers with the,

the International Federation of Tobacco Workers (in 1958)
the International Union of Hotel, Restaurant and Bar Workers (in 1961)
the International Federation of Plantation, Agricultural and Allied Workers (in 1994).