Freshcare and Citrus SA have partnered to develop specific tools and resources to assist citrus growers with standards program management and preparation for audit.

The program, tailored to citrus growers, simplifies the record-keeping process and implementation of the Food Safety & Quality Standard version 4.2 for single or specific commodity crop growers.

Freshcare CEO, Jane Siebum says the resources align with the specific risks and needs per crop, ensuring certification is accessible while still fulfilling international benchmarking requirements.

“This is a great step forward in supporting growers’ certification journey and shows what can be achieved when industry works together.

“We’ve listened to the feedback from our participants running smaller sized, or single crop farms and worked together with Citrus SA to provide this resource.

“We are proud to provide a robust and comprehensive certification program, giving our citrus growers access to international markets, through a resource which has expanded beyond a “one-size-fits-all” approach.”

Chairperson of Citrus SA, Mark Doecke, operates 90 acres of oranges in Sunlands, alongside the Murray River in South Australia. He has recently piloted the program and says having a resource specific for citrus growers will save them time and money.

“The aim of the review was to cut audit preparation times by up to 50 per cent, without compromising on food safety.

“Citrus producers have an exemplary record of producing safe food and these changes streamline the system without compromising food safety.

“We believe other commodities could benefit from working with Freshcare. A reduction in time spent doing paperwork means growers can concentrate on producing the highest quality and safest food possible.”

The new system starts in 2023 and growers in all states will see the benefits then, Mr Doecke says Citrus SA is pleased to have been instrumental in this process on behalf of all Australian growers.

Freshcare is looking to partner with more peak industry groups and crop-specific associations that wish to explore this approach to fulfil the specific needs of their growers.

For more information on the new Citrus certification resources please contact Freshcare at [email protected] or call (02) 8039 9999.