Standards

For fresh produce growers and grower-packers, there are two standards available for on-farm production:

  1. Food Safety and Quality – 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.
  2. Environmental – the Freshcare Environmental Program has been designed to help Australian producers demonstrate world-leading environmental management practices and stewardship of their land, resources and communities in which they operate.

Reference Material

Crop List

Freshcare standards cover the growing, packing, and distribution of ‘whole produce’ only. The Freshcare Crop List is the master list of all crops, produce and produce groups that are covered by the Freshcare standards that can be displayed on Freshcare certificates.

You can use the list to identify whether the crops that you grow or products you handle are covered by Freshcare certification.

This list is also useful for trainers and auditors as a reference guide. You can also use the list to give customers more information about the scope of certification you have achieved to support your Freshcare certificate.

We manage the list and add updates from our stakeholders. If you have any questions about the list, please contact us.

Standard’s Format Explained

All of our standards are presented in the same format for ease of use.

The infographic below explains how our standards are presented, and helps you identify the different elements that are included to support the essential compliance criteria for audit. The infographic also shows where you can find examples of records required, supporting resources, and additional information to support you in meeting the standard’s requirements.

Logo Permission Request

To use the Freshcare certification logo, written permission is essential. To request permission, please complete the form below. Before submitting your request, please read the information in the Freshcare Logo Style Guide Specifications – Certification Logo.

The Freshcare name, corporate logo, or certification logo, must not be used on a product, consumer-level packaging, or at a point of sale in direct connection to a single product. To request permission, please fill out the form below:

About Auditing & Certification

To complete the journey to Freshcare certification, following training and implementation, an audit of your implemented program needs to be completed.

After training with us, our practices and procedures of our standards must be implemented across your production and operating systems. This ensures that the required levels of your chosen standard are met. 

After our standards are implemented and required records are established, compliance is verified with an external third-party audit. These audits must be undertaken during your harvest/operational period, as access to all parts of your operations is essential for the auditor.

Audits for the fresh produce industry’s Food Safety and Quality (FSQ4.2) and Environmental (ENV3), are every year. Audits for Viticulture (AWISSP – VIT1) and Winery (AWISSP – WIN1) are every three years. 

Two-Part Audit Process

Our two-part audit process aligns with Global Food Safety International’s (GFSI) benchmarking requirements. The two parts to the process are:

Part A – remote audit activities done using information communication technology (ICT).

ICT is internet-based tools to share documents and conduct meetings and review documents and records. Examples are shared document boxes (Dropbox, Sharepoint, email) and video conferences such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts. Other features may include wearable technology such as ‘Google Glasses’.

Part B – the audit is completed with an on-site assessment.

About the two-part audit:

  • The two-part audit is voluntary if you meet the criteria, and you and your certifier agree to it.
  • The same auditor must complete both Part A and Part B unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Part A and Part B audits must be completed within a maximum of 30 days.
  • Part A can start before harvest/operational months if Part B is finished within harvest/operational months, and the two parts are completed within 30 days.
  • Your certifier determines the ICT option that is used with your audit. You need to meet the minimum requirement – like stable internet connection – for the ICT audit component to be undertaken effectively.

The following audits can be done as two-part audits:

  • Re-certification audits to all standards.
  • Scope upgrades:
  1. Where it is not the inclusion of a new site (crop scope upgrade), based on risk, remote only is permitted.
  2. Where it is the addition of a new site and not greater than four (4) months until the next audit, remote audit permitted until the next audit due.

Agent/Broker scope under the Supply Chain Standard can be competed fully remotely, particularly where they operate as a virtual site.

The following audits cannot be done as two-part audits:

  • Initial audits to all standards.
  • Unannounced audits.