Horticulture growers have received some clarity around food safety certification requirements after the release of a detailed HARPS infographic which more accurately reflects industry terminology, as well as an extension allowing many growers an extra year to become compliant.
HARPS is a retailer-led scheme designed to assist with compliance to food safety requirements for suppliers to the major grocery retailers in Australia.
Growcom has been engaging with the HARPS team to highlight issues around communication, and will continue to push for sensible, risk-based approaches to food safety.
Based on the extensive grower feedback requesting more support and time for implementation, a number of provisions have been made.
There will be a series of workshops around Australia and we urge growers to attend one of these or if they have specific questions, phone HARPS on 1300 852 219.
Dates will be advertised on the HARPS website, via peak industry bodies like Growcom and directly to businesses registered on the HARPS website.
Tier 2 suppliers who require HARPS approval will have until January 1, 2019. These businesses should register their interest at www.harpsonline.com.au by June 30, 2018.
Low volume producers supplying fewer than 10 pallets per year will not require HARPS approval. These suppliers will fall under Tier 3 and will be required to be certified to an approved base scheme.
As the peak industry body for horticulture growers in Queensland, Growcom will work with growers regarding their concerns with the HARPs requirements and provide feedback to the HARPs team, bearing in mind that this is a scheme led by the retailers not government or industry associations.
There is an opportunity for growers to join the HARPs stakeholder committee and we urge those with major concerns to raise them in this forum.
For more information about the HARPS revisions, including a decision graphic to assist suppliers in determining whether their business requires HARPS, visit www.harpsonline.com.au, phone 1300 852 219 or firstname.lastname@example.org