Food Safety & Quality – On Farm

The Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Standard (FSQ) has been developed specifically for Australian producers and outlines the good agricultural practice (GAP), best management criteria, and specific food safety requirements (HACCP) for the production and packing of fresh produce on-farm.

Our food safety and quality program provides growers and grower-packers with the essential on-farm good agricultural practices and post-harvest food safety criteria that are required to be met and maintained to assure customers of the quality and safety of the fresh produce produced.

The Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Standard Version 4.2 (FSQ4.2) is the current standard available for grower and grower-packer program participants seeking certification.

We have developed the FSQ4.2 standard to meet the latest market requirements and international standards, with the FSQ4.2 achieving benchmark to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). This ensures continued access to markets around the world for Australian produce.

While you’re working on assuring the safety of what we eat and how and where it’s grown, we support you to meet and maintain the standard’s essential practices and criteria by providing training and support services.

Certification to the Freshcare Program is achieved through independent third-party auditing, for more information visit How to get certified.

Download Food Safety Standard

Freshcare provides Food Safety & Quality Certification program options for the whole Supply Chain.

In addition to our Food Safety & Quality program for on-farm producers, Freshcare’s Supply Chain Standard has been developed to provide a comprehensive food safety and quality management program for businesses involved in fresh produce supply chain operations, including:

  • Agents
  • Brokers
  • Fumigators
  • Marketing groups
  • Packers
  • Ripeners
  • Storage and distribution centres
  • Transporters
  • Wholesalers

The current standard is the Freshcare Supply Chain Standard Edition 2 (SCS2). Released in 2021 to meet the latest market and international standard requirements and achieved recognition against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Version 2020.1 benchmark, ensuring Australian produce has continued access to markets around the world.

More information on the Supply Chain Standard  and how to get involved can be found here:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the costs for maintaining Freshcare Certification?

    After registering with Freshcare and completing training, the following costs to consider for achieving and maintaining certification are:

    Program Implementation and Management - costs to be considered here include staff training; testing required for compliance purposes (e.g. produce, soil, water testing); time and resources required for program maintenance and system reviews.

    Cost of audit - to achieve certification, third-party audits are required. The cost of the audit will vary per business depending on the size of the operation and number of sites, travel charges and the standard(s) being audited. Businesses should source quotes for their annual audit from several Freshcare Certification Bodies to ensure they are getting the best rate available for their business.

    Freshcare Participation Fee – this is a fee captured at audit by the certification body and remitted to Freshcare. As a not-for-profit industry organisation, Freshcare participation fees fund the operation of all Freshcare programs. Freshcare Participation Fees are collected by the Certification Body on behalf of Freshcare at the time a business is audited. Refer to the Freshcare Fee Structure for details.

  • How long does it take to achieve certification to Freshcare?

    For most businesses, it takes 3 – 6 months to undertake training, implement practices, establish records and achieve initial certification. Freshcare does not put a time frame on achieving initial certification, rather participants are advised to progress to audit once the program is fully implemented within their business. Maintaining Certification to Freshcare requires ongoing program management, review and maintaining the required third-party audit cycles as set out in the Standard.

  • What are my options for Freshcare training?

    Food Safety & Quality - On-farm (for Growers and Growers/Packers)

    • One-on-one
    • Group
    • eLearning

    Approved Trainers can deliver, face-to-face or online training for the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard. To access trainer contact details, visit:

    Freshcare eLearning provides a mechanism for training to be undertaken online and at a pace set by the trainee. For more information visit 

    Food Safety & Quality - Supply Chain (for Supply Chain businesses)

    • eLearning

    Freshcare eLearning provides a mechanism for training to be undertaken online and at a pace set by the trainee. For more information visit 

    Environmental (for Horticulture) and Sustainability (for Wine Industry)

    • One-on-one
    • Group

    Approved Trainers can deliver, face-to-face or online training for the Freshcare Environmental Standard and Freshcare Australian Wine Industry Standards of Sustainable Practice ( viticulture and winery). To access trainer contact details, visit:

  • If I move from another program to Freshcare, do I have to do training?

    Yes. It is a requirement that all new participating businesses complete a Freshcare training course in the specific Program or Standard you are looking to implement. Freshcare training ensures consistency in the delivery of the requirements of the Standard, and how to best establish the program in the daily operations and activities of your business.

  • Will the Freshcare program change the way I do things on my farm or in my business?

    When implementing the Freshcare program you will likely find you are already keeping many of the records required as a part of running your business. Freshcare training helps new businesses identify the risk areas that need to be managed when implementing the Freshcare Standards. There may be some physical changes to be made and additional records to be kept although these will be covered at training to ensure you address them in the most practical way for your specific business requirements.

  • Who accepts Freshcare certification?

    Freshcare certification is a voluntary pathway for businesses to demonstrate and verify their credentials to customers across local and international markets; government stakeholders and regulatory bodies; financial and insurance institutions.

    Local Markets – Freshcare certification is recognised in all Australian domestic market supply chains. Freshcare food safety and quality certification is accepted by all major retail chains and approved by HARPS.

    International Markets – Global relationship-building ensures Freshcare certification is recognised and accepted in international markets. Benchmarking of the Freshcare food safety and quality program to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), ensures that our most widely used standard in Australia is accepted in all global markets.

    Government – Freshcare certification can also demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements. Freshcare promotes the adoption of the standards by the fresh produce and wine industries with government bodies, as evidence of underpinning assurance for best practice. Accreditation of the Freshcare Environmental program by the Queensland Government for commercial banana cultivation in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment, demonstrates aligned and recognised pathways with legislation.

    Others – Freshcare certification is used to demonstrate good business practice and therefore is often used to support business partnerships, applications to financial lenders, insurance companies, and institutions.

  • What does Freshcare do?

    Freshcare is the custodian of the assurance standards for the Australian fresh produce and wine industry.

    Freshcare manages the development, review, accreditation, benchmarking, stakeholder engagement, market awareness, extension and adoption of the standards, and supporting resources.