Australian growers reminded HARPS compliance deadline is approaching
All produce suppliers to major Australian supermarkets and retail outlets are being reminded to ensure they comply with the new Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme before the 1 January 2018 deadline.
The Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS) is an industry-funded initiative designed to align the food safety requirements of Australia’s major retailers. It aims to create one food safety system instead of each retailer having their own system.
HARPS has been funded by Horticulture Innovation using horticulture industry levies and government funds.
Retailers that have developed and recognise HARPS include Aldi, Coles, Costco, Metcash (IGA) and Woolworths.
Australian vegetable industry group, AUSVEG, Environment Coordinator, Andrew Shaw, said there is confusion among growers about who needs to comply and when.
“Direct suppliers who have commercial relationship with one or more of the major Australian retailers need to achieve compliance to one of four base schemes plus the elements of HARPS by 1 January 2018,” Shaw said.
“Furthermore a subcontractor or co-packer who packs to a retailer specification for another business that then supplies one or more of the five chain retailers, is also a direct supplier and is required to be compliant to one of the base schemes plus HARPS by 1 January 2018.
“Indirect suppliers, who are growers supplying product for further handling and/or packaging by a direct supplier and then to one or more of the five chain retailers, are not required to implement HARPS. However, indirect suppliers are required to be certified to one of the four base schemes a year, by 1 January 2019.”
Growers who want to find out more about HARPS can call the HARPS Helpline on 1300 825 219.
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