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History of Freshcare

Like so many of Australia’s fresh produce industry success stories, the Freshcare Program had humble beginnings.

Freshcare is the name for the horticultural industry owned, not-for-profit, on-farm assurance program, established in the year 2000 to service the needs of the Australian industry.

Freshcare’s practical approach to helping growers and packers assure customers that their produce is fresh and safe has seen over 7,500 horticultural businesses adopt the program since its beginning.

The foundation of the Freshcare Program has always been the user-friendly Codes of Practice and training support materials. Already Australia’s largest on-farm assurance program, new developments in 2015 and beyond will ensure it continues to grow.

The 90’s – Approved Supplier Guide

January 1, 1995

In response, a National Quality Management Working Group was established in 1998 by the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation (HRDC, now Horticulture Australia Limited, HAL) and the working group was given the task of sorting…

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The 90’s – Freshcare Development

July 1, 1998

Freshcare was the natural successor to the many “Approved Supplier Programs” that were developed in the 1990s. At this time many customers such as retailers, wholesalers and processors began implementing HACCP, SQF2000, WVQMS or ISO9002…

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2000 – Freshcare Establishment

January 1, 2000

Freshcare Ltd was established as a not-for-profit industry organisation to drive the development of the new auditable code of practice and to manage the program. Peak industry bodies representing growers and wholesalers became the ‘owner…

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2000 – Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Code – 1st Edition

July 1, 2000

To ensure the 1st Edition of the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Code of Practice was appropriate and achievable, it was widely distributed in draft form for review by industry stakeholders (growers, packers, wholesalers, processors…

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2004 – Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Code – 2nd Edition

January 1, 2004

By 2004 nearly 3000 growers had joined the Freshcare program. The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Code of Practice was revised in 2004 and the 2nd Edition incorporated feedback accumulated from the first four years’…

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2004 – Freshcare Environmental Code Development

February 2, 2004

Around the same time as Food Safety & Quality 2nd Edition Code was released in 2004, Horticulture Australia Limited (now Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA)) initiated the “Horticulture for Tomorrow” program to identify strategic environmental issues…

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2006 – Freshcare Environmental Code – 1st Edition

January 1, 2006

Publication of the Guidelines for Environmental Assurance in Australian Horticulture in April 2006 was closely followed by the publication of the ‘Freshcare Code of Practice Environmental, 1st Edition August 2006’. The Freshcare ‘Environmental Code’ has…

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2008 – Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Code – 3rd Edition

January 1, 2008

By the time of the 2008 review of the Food Safety and Quality Code, a number of domestic and international food safety outbreaks in fresh produce had raised the stakes for consumer and customer assurance….

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2009 – Freshcare Environmental for the Australian Wine Industry

January 1, 2009

In early 2009, the Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) approached Freshcare as it was looking for an environmental system applicable to industry that could underpin the Australian Wine Industry’s national environmental membership program Entwine Australia….

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2011 – Freshcare Environmental – 2nd Edition

April 1, 2011

The Freshcare Environmental 2nd Edition Code of Practice was launched in April 2011 after an extensive twelve month review in consultation with Freshcare growers, trainers, auditors, and broader industry stakeholders. The upgrade to the content…

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2014 – Fresh Produce Safety Centre

January 1, 2014

Fresh Produce Safety Centre The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Ltd (FPSC) has been established by the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) through a project with the University of Sydney. This project is funded by…

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2014 – Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Code review

July 1, 2014

In order for the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Code to maintain its position as a widely accepted on-farm certification, a regular code review process is required. The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality 3rd Edition…

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2014 – Guidelines for Environmental Assurance – Second Edition

August 14, 2014

The second edition Guidelines for Environmental Assurance Guidelines funded by HIA (previously HAL) through its across-industry program, were launched in June 2014, following an extensive review and consultation process with key industry stakeholders, including Freshcare….

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2014 – Freshcare Online Training Development

December 1, 2014

Consultation with industry throughout 2014, determined that a practical, user friendly, remote-learning option would be a key component of future Freshcare training. Following a lengthy selection process the team at Arris Pty Ltd were chosen…

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2015 – Freshcare Forum

April 23, 2015

Amidst a week of the wildest weather Sydney has seen in decades, 95 industry stakeholders, including primary producers, industry representatives, trainers, auditors, retailers, wholesalers, research institutions and government organisations, attended the Freshcare Forum at Coogee…

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2015 – Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety

September 1, 2015

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre launched the Guidelines for On-Farm Food Safety for Fresh Produce in September 2015. First published in 2001 and revised in 2004, the Guidelines historically provided an important resource for Freshcare…

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2015 – Code Reviews in Progress

November 2, 2015

Works in progress… Freshcare Food Safety and Quality – 4th Edition The Food Safety & Quality 3rd Edition Code is under review in 2015 and will be finalised following the release of the Guidelines for Fresh…

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2016 – JAS-ANZ Accreditation

February 1, 2016

In February 2016, the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard was approved as an accredited standard by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ). This change from a private industry scheme, to…

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2016 – New Codes Launched – FSQ4 & ENV3

June 1, 2016

When the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality and Environmental Code reviews were initiated in 2014, the intention was to simply update content in response to participant and stakeholder feedback to create more practical, streamlined standards….

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2017 – Freshcare eLearning

April 26, 2017

The development of the Freshcare eLearning platform now provides remote access to training for growers who are unable to participate in group or one-on-one training with a Freshcare trainer; or for those that who would prefer…

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2018 – Freshcare Supply Chain Standard – Edition 1

July 1, 2018

Freshcare released the JAS-ANZ accredited Freshcare Food Safety & Quality – Supply Chain Standard Edition 1 In response to industry and market requests, the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality – Supply Chain Standard Edition 1 (SC1) was developed to address…

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2019 – Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety

June 1, 2019

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre launched the Guidelines for On-Farm Food Safety for Fresh Produce in June 2019. First published in 2001 and revised in 2004 and 2015, the Guidelines historically provided an important resource…

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2019 – FSQ 4.1 Release

July 1, 2019

Freshcare Released The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard – Edition 4.1 The updates to the FSQ4.1 Standard ensure Freshcare certification is compliant with the benchmarks set by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Download…

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