Freshcare announces GLOBALG.A.P. benchmark initiative
Australian growers looking to enter key export markets are set to save significant cost and complication once global and domestic food safety certification requirements are combined. The widely adopted, industry led food safety program, Freshcare, announces that the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard (FSQ) will benchmark against the widely accepted GLOBALG.A.P. Standard to provide an export market version for Australian growers.
The initiative being delivered through Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) – using vegetable industry levy funds and funds from the Australian Government – in partnership with peak industry body AUSVEG, will have a significant impact for growers in many export sectors (click here to download the Media Release).
Historically, growers have had to undertake a lengthy, complicated and costly transition to implement an entirely new food safety standard (GLOBALG.A.P. – standalone) for export market access. Successful completion of benchmarking, and recognition of the Freshcare Standard by GLOBALG.A.P., would enable Australian growers to build on their existing food safety and quality certification (Freshcare) as a streamlined compliance process to access export markets. The initial step in the process is to identify and clarify the requirements for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P) in the key export markets for Australian fresh produce, including a number of markets in Asia and the Middle East; considering required scope(s) – food safety, quality, environmental, biosecurity, worker welfare, etc.
Industry consultation has already commenced and any businesses interested in making input at this preliminary stage, should contact the Freshcare Office.
Once the scope of the benchmark is confirmed, a gap analysis of the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Edition 4 Standard (FSQ4) will be conducted against the requirements of GLOBALG.A.P. Certification (v5.0).
A Freshcare ‘bolt-on’ based on outcomes of the exercise outlined above will then be developed to submit as part of the formal benchmark submission to GLOBALG.A.P. in early 2017.
Regular project updates will be provided through both the Freshcare website and industry communications, with the project is due for completion by mid/late 2017.