The Freshcare Rules are the terms on which, upon registration, a business agrees to participate in the Freshcare Program. Businesses participating in the Freshcare Program must comply with the Freshcare Rules and the requirements of the Freshcare Standard(s) nominated by the business at all times.
Update November 2020
Standards released in 2020 now incorporate the Freshcare Rules into the introduction of the published Standard, please refere to Section 1 Freshcare Rules (R) for Standards: FSQ4.2, AWISSP-VIT1 and AWISSP-WIN1.
Freshcare Rules Version 4.3 – July 2019 is applicable to businesses participating in Freshcare Standards: FSQ4.1, SC1 and ENV3 from 1 January 2020.
Version 4.3 includes updates to ensure Freshcare is compliant with the benchmarks set by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Updates and changes from the previous version of the document are shown in italics. Participating businesses upgrading to Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard – Edition 4.1 must refer to the Freshcare Rules Version 4.3.
Failure to comply with the Freshcare Rules or the requirements of the nominated Freshcare Standard, may result in a business’s Freshcare certification being suspended or withdrawn.
Updates to the Freshcare Rules and Freshcare Standards will occur from time to time. Businesses will be given at least 28 days’ notice of the changes via FreshcareOnline, the Freshcare website and email, and must ensure full compliance with the changes within the timeframe stated in the notice.
A business’s obligations to comply with the Freshcare Rules and Freshcare Standards are in addition to its obligations to comply with the law, including any regulatory requirements. It is important for businesses to be aware that compliance with the Freshcare Rules and Freshcare Standards does not ensure compliance with the law and does not exempt a business from doing so.
Summary of content – Freshcare Rules Version 4.3
1. Terms and definitions
Explanation of terms and definitions as used by Freshcare and where they can be found.
Outlines the process and requirements for new businesses registering to participate in the Freshcare program.
Outlines the requirements for businesses to advise Freshcare of their sites of operation. Also provides specific information on businesses with multiple sites and various production locations.
Outlines the scope of operations for Freshcare Certification; produce categories and crops. Also provides details on what is required if a business makes changes to their scope, produce categories or crops.
5. Certification Bodies and auditors
Outlines the specific criteria and competency requirements for Certification Bodies and auditors to conduct Freshcare audits. Details the contractual arrangements between Freshcare participating businesses, Certification Bodies and auditors.
6. Changing Certification Bodies
Specifies the requirements to be undertaken by a business if changing nominated Certification Bodies.
7. Audit process
Details the Freshcare audit process from scheduling through to audit closure and corrective actions.
8. Certification process
Outlines the Certification Body’s audit reporting process to Freshcare, and details how the audit findings are communicated as Certification recommended or Certification Pending.
9. Certified businesses
Provides details on how businesses will receive their Freshcare certificate and where their certification details are accessible.
10. Audit deferral, suspension and withdrawal
Provides details on deferring Freshcare audits, suspending Freshcare Certification and withdrawing business.
Participating businesses should refer to this section for details on what to do if they need to defer their audit due to crop loss or similar adverse circumstances
Outlines the Freshcare fee structure and payment requirements.
12. Prosecution and regulatory sanctions
Outlines requirements for businesses to notify Freshcare of prosecutions related to business activities within the scope of Freshcare certification.
13. Complaints and Appeals
Outlines Freshcare complaints and appeal process.
Provides details on FreshcareOnline and how Freshcare communicates program information, resources and updates to participating businesses.
15. Use of the Freshcare corporate logo and certification logo
Outlines the specific requirements for use of the Freshcare logo and Freshcare certification logo.
16. Use of information
17. Liability and indemnity
Outlines Freshcare’s liability and indemnity disclosure.
18. Governing law and jurisdiction
The Freshcare Rules are governed and must be construed with the laws of New South Wales.