Food Safety & Quality – On-Farm
The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Edition 4 Code of Practice (FSQ4) was released in June 2016.
Click on the cover image below to download a copy of the FSQ4 Code.
FSQ4 outlines specific practices that must be implemented and maintained to assure continuous food safety and quality requirements are being met on-farm by growers and grower packers.
There are two sections of the Freshcare FSQ4 Code, as outlined below:
- Scope and commitment
- Internal audit and corrective action
- Customer requirements
Food Safety & Quality
- Hazard analysis
- Growing site
- Planting materials
- Fertilisers and soil additives
- Premises, facilities, equipment, tools, packaging and vehicles
- Animals and pests
- Food defence and food fraud
- Product identification and traceability
It is a requirement that all businesses participating in the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality program, have at least one business representative complete training.
Freshcare training ensures each participating business has a full understanding of the Code and program requirements; how they are applicable to their business and what needs to be implemented and prepared to demonstrate compliance at audit.
Freshcare training options include: group courses, one-on-one, and online (eLearning).
Details of training options and providers can be found here: Freshcare Training.
Freshcare training prepares participants with information on how to integrate the FSQ4 program requirements into their business production and operating systems to ensure the food safety and quality management of produce grown and handled.
Training course materials include template record keeping documents and resource materials to provide assistance and further information.
Some elements of the FSQ4 Code require verification testing be completed. It is recommended that all verification testing be undertaken prior to audit.
Once the Food Safety & Quality program has been implemented within your business, and required records have been established, you can prepare for a third-party audit to verify compliance.
Freshcare Food Safety & Quality audits are required to be undertaken during harvest period, as it is essential that the auditor has access to all facets of business operations.
To become Freshcare certified you must first successfully complete and pass an audit. To schedule a Food Safety & Quality audit, contact a Freshcare approved Certification Body.
All Freshcare Certification Bodies have auditors who are able to audit across a number of industry standards (not just Freshcare). Therefore you may be able to schedule your Freshcare audit in conjunction with other industry standards/on-farm management programs as required. To organise a combined audit you must advise the Certification Body at the time of booking.
The various Freshcare Codes of Practice have been developed for ease of integration and combined certification audits. Therefore if you are participating in more than one Freshcare program such as Food Safety & Quality and Environmental, please advise the Certification Body when booking your audit to ensure a suitably qualified auditor is scheduled.
Once you have successfully completed an audit and resolved any corrective actions raised, a Freshcare certificate will be issued via your Certification Body.
A copy of your certificate is also available via your FreshcareOnline login.
For promotional purposes, Freshcare certified businesses can utilise the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality certification mark. For more information, access and rules of use for certification mark, email: [email protected]
To maintain your Freshcare FSQ certification, annual audits are required to be undertaken during your harvest season.