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Fresh produce compliance guide
GFSI compliance for fruit and vegetable handling
Farmsoft delivers opportunities to reduce waste during the packing, processing, storage, and distribution phases. By enforcing GFSI best practices, FIFO (when practical), inventory expiry monitoring, and easy stock takes - your company has every opportunity to minimize waste and maximize profit. From bar code managed inventory, inventory labeling, to 3D pallet storage, farmsoft delivers on reduced waste.
Perform recalls in seconds, with the full confidence of accuracy and reliability. Minimize risk by ensuring accurate traceability is automatically captured. Pass audits with ease & reduce compliance costs using farmsofts traceability guidelines. Trace fresh produce up and down the supply chain, over multiple traceability hops. Instantly produce spray records, residue analysis, soil analysis, and any other farm traceability records if you use our farm solution for GFSI compliance.
Minimize your administration costs with automatic paperwork generation. Ensure accuracy of paperwork by having necessary documentation (invoice formats, export documents, transport documents etc) presented to employees based on the needs of the specific customer - ensuring timely and accurate documentation. No more rejected orders because of bad documentation accompanying a shipment. Food traceability software made easy!
CONSISTENT QUALITY CONTROL
Guarantee consistent, accurate, and efficient quality control is performed at any part of the fresh produce handling life-cycle; including during delivery, pre processing, post processing, and dispatch. Create quality control tests based on each customers requirements, and even create a daily factory hygiene test, employee performance tests and more. Accurate quality control helps to improve customer confidence and quality perception. Easily follow fresh produce quality control & fresh produce inventory guidelines.
BETTER PRODUCTION PLANNING & DISPATCH
Monitor orders, assign orders to specific packhouses (you can have unlimited processing sites in farmsoft), and allow micro monitoring of each production lines output requirements using dashboards. The dashboards ensure the correct products are produced at the correct time to fill orders. Dispatch teams are given details on their mobile device (or PC/Mac) and scan pallets onto orders. Administration teams can see orders are picked and ready for dispatch, and are presented with the correct documents for printing. All of these features result in improved accuracy of both production and dispatch processes.
OPTIONAL FARM SOFTWARE INTEGRATION FOR FARM TO PLATE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
Optionally use farmsoft Farm Management software with our Post Harvest solution. Using both solutions provides an end to end solution from field to plate. Farm Management by farmsoft delivers full farm record keeping, farm inventory, cost monitoring, budgeting, best practice enforcement, and adherence to international farming standards. Use Farm Management by farmsoft to manage your own farms, or even hundreds of external farms that supply your fresh produce company.
A food safety management scheme is ‘recognised’ by GFSI when it meets internationally recognised minimum food safety requirements, developed by multi stakeholders, which are set out in the GFSI Guidance Document | GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. GFSI is not a scheme in itself, and neither does it carry out any accreditation or certification activities.
Certification to a GFSI recognised scheme is achieved through a successful third party audit against any of the schemes listed as being recognised by GFSI. The third party companies that provide certification services are known as Certification Bodies (CBs). They are key stakeholders to GFSI and active participants, both in the professional network as well as in the GFSI Technical Working Groups. The Certification Bodies are authorised to audit against the recognised scheme through a formal agreement with the Scheme Owner (SO) combined with the scope of their accreditation.
Accreditation Bodies (ABs) are not-for-profit organisations, either government owned or under agreement with government, charged with ensuring that participating Certification Bodies in the country are subject to oversight by an authoritative body.
Accreditation Bodies may not be high profile in each country but they play a key role in the accredited certification process and ensuring international consistency in conformity assessment.
Due to complex challenges in today’s food supply chain, many of the world's largest food retailers are mandating supplier certification to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) schemes, which include SQF, BRC, IFS, FSSC, GLOBALG.A.P. and BAP and CanadaGAP.
NSF companies are the leading global certifier to GFSI bench-marked standards, with exceptional technical expertise, consistently calibrated auditors and capacity for a timely path to certification.
GFSI was established to ensure confidence in the delivery of safer food to consumers, while continuing to improve food safety throughout the supply chain. These global standards address food, packaging, packaging materials, storage and distribution for primary producers, manufacturers and distributors.
The Global Food Safety Initiative is a business driven initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. GFSI provides a platform for collaboration between some of the world’s leading food safety experts from retailer, manufacturer and food service companies, service providers associated with the food supply chain, international organizations, academia and government.
The initiative was launched in 2000 following a number of food safety crises when consumer confidence was at an all-time low. Since then, experts from all over the world have been collaborating in numerous Technical Working Groups to tackle current food safety issues defined by GFSI stakeholders.
Key activities within GFSI include the definition of food safety requirements for food safety schemes through a bench-marking process. This process leads to recognition of existing food safety schemes and drives growing confidence, acceptance and implementation of third party certification along the entire food supply chain.
GFSI’s current focus is on extending the requirements to cover all scopes of the global food supply chain from farm to fork. Other important current activities include the development of a capacity building programme for small and/or less developed businesses to facilitate their access to local markets and a continuous focus on food safety auditor competence to bring industry experts in collaboration with key stakeholders to a common consensus on the skills, knowledge and attributes that a competent auditor should possess.
GFSI compliance for fruit and vegetable handling, packing, sorting, wholesale... simple, yet feature packed
INVENTORY & COLD STORE
Full bar-code inventory & pallet management, stock take (mobile & PC), pallet control, inventory labels (raw & finished), cold store, 3D storage, container management...
Manage & monitor orders, contracts, dispatch process. Managed dispatch process guides teams to dispatch correct goods with correct invoices & documentation...
Re-pack, sort, grade, wash, manufacture, and pack with maximum traceability . Monitor cost & waste. Recursive traceability over multiple batches for value adding...
Perform QC from phone / tablet / PC. Configure internal tests, customer QC, QMS, Walmart, USDA, Loblaw, Tesco, Woolworths, Aldi, Coles, and other tests...
Make recalls super easy! Perform instant recalls using any of these recall methods: invoice number, inventory number, order number, pallet number, delivery date, customer name, storage location, pack date and more...
SIMPLE TRACEABILITY SOLUTION, OR COMPREHENSIVE ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT
GFSI Recognizes GLOBALG.A.P.’s Integrated Farm Assurance and Produce Safety Standard Version 4.0
GLOBALG.A.P. North America Inc. (GGNA), the USA and Canadian division of the world’s largest private sector standards organization for Good Agricultural Practice, is pleased to announce that the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has recognized its Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA V4.0 - Fruit & Vegetables Sub-scope) and Produce Safety Standard (PSS V4.0) according to GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition, BI and D Scopes (Farming of Plants and Pre-Processing Handling of Plants respectively), for food safety and traceability.
“We are very committed to meeting our growers’ supply chain requirements, and welcome the re-benchmarking of IFA and the first recognition of PSS by GFSI,” said Thomas Fenimore, GGNA’s Executive Vice President. “GLOBALG.A.P. offers growers in the USA and Canada a range of standards to meet their certification needs, and the requirements of their customers, for the domestic and international markets. GFSI recognition further enhances our innovative product line by meeting retailer benchmarking expectations. We appreciate the recognition of our standards by retailers and foodservice providers.”
To read the full article and comments about this development click here.
For more information www.globalgap.org/north-america and www.globalgap.org
USDA National Organic Program:
Frieda's receives top GFSI audit score
Frieda’s Specialty Produce continues to focus on providing the highest quality to its customers, once again passing its annual Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmark audit and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) organic audit.
Based on the audit in April, Frieda’s received a superior score of 99.62 percent on the PrimusGFS Packinghouse Audit, the highest global standard. Performed by PrimusLabs, this score is an improvement from last year’s score of 99.35.
Additionally, the organic audit performed in June by CCOF confirmed that Frieda’s remains 100 percent compliant with the National Organic Program set up by the USDA.
The GFSI is an initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide.
As one of the first organic certification entities in the United States, the CCOF certifies more than 2,500 organic operations in 38 states and three foreign countries, and serves over 240 supporting members—consumers, suppliers, businesses, and individuals.
Frieda’s clients may request updated certificates and final audit results. Please contact Frieda’s Compliance Department for more details.
Visit Friedas.com for more information.
Freshcare's Quality Standard opening up global opportunities for growers after benchmarking
The recognition of Freshcare's certification program by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) reflects global best practice in food safety management and provides Australian growers and packers with better access to international markets, according to the team co-ordinating Australia's on-farm food safety program.
From February 2020, the fresh produce industry’s own assurance program, Freshcare’s Food Safety & Quality Standard – Edition 4.1 meets the needs of Australian producers in fulfilling both domestic and global market requirements.
Interim CEO, Yvonne Diab says the Australian industry identified the need for a globally recognised quality assurance system to strengthen food safety requirements, raise the bar on best practices for growers, provide management consistency, transparency and encourage better collaboration with certification bodies and auditors.
"There weren’t a lot of changes required to the existing Freshcare standard to achieve the GFSI benchmarking”, Ms Diab said. "The benefits trickle down every level of the fresh produce supply chain as a result of this. The whole point is to ensure the produce that is supplied to market is safe and Freshcare provides a robust practical approach to helping producers assure local and international customers that their produce is safe.”
Now in its 20th year, Freshcare continues to maintain an approach that is underpinned by science, supported by training and remains practical and relevant for industry while aligning with global best practice.
“The GFSI recognition re-enforces Freshcare’s rigorous commitment to domestic and global food safety compliance, reinforcing local and international buyer confidence in the safety and quality of Australian fresh produce from paddock to plate," Ms Diab said.
She added while there are many benefits including enhanced safety, enhanced reputation and enhanced market opportunities, the overarching benefit is around risk; the mitigation and management of risk, for any sized business.
"History speaks for itself in terms of the relatively low numbers of serious food safety incidences over the years," Ms Diab said. "The numbers are low in relation to the amount of fresh produce that is grown and distributed in this market. It's critically important that we stay on top of it – and we do with a robust, stringent assurance program.”
The Global Food Safety Initiative program was formed by a consortium of leading food industry experts who developed a model that determines equivalency between existing food safety schemes, whilst leaving flexibility and choice in the marketplace. Ms Diab says that while the criteria that was formed is quite specific, a lot of it is already being practised by the leading markets.
"The more robust local programs share common elements with regards to safe growing activities," she said and “the GFSI re-enforces and improves on that”.
Ms Diab admits it can be a tricky balance for small to medium businesses having to comply with strict requirements but the benefits are well worth it when you consider GFSI recognition of the Freshcare Standard strengthens local and international market access by creating a level playing field for growers of all sizes.
"The key benefit of GFSI recognition for Australian growers from a Freshcare point of view is that it provides an added level of trust in Australian produce in global markets," she said. "Freshcare is also the only GFSI benchmarked standard that was specifically developed for Australian producers, taking into consideration Australian growing conditions and is supported by intense training to ensure a thorough understanding of the standard requirements and application. Independent audits of the Freshcare standard verify global compliance is met, thereby contributing to risk mitigation and trust in the certification that Freshcare provides.”
United Fresh introduces Produce GAP Harmonized Standards
GLOBAL G.A.P. and United Fresh Produce Association are introducing the first Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized application of the Produce GAP Harmonized Standards. The GLOBALG.A.P. Harmonized Produce Safety Standard V1.0 (HPSS) has been successfully benchmarked by GFSI and has achieved recognition against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition, Scope BI – Farming of Plants and D1- Pre Processing Handling of Plant Products.
The HPSS is the combination of the Field Operations and Harvesting and the Post-harvest Operations Harmonized Food Safety Standards developed by United Fresh through the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative, and operationalized and managed by GLOBALG.A.P.
GLOBALG.A.P. has worked intensively with United Fresh on the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative, an all-industry effort to drive harmonization of GAP standards, to reduce audit fatigue and allow operations to focus their food safety resources on achieving food safety, rather than passing audits.
Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBALG.A.P. commented that “GLOBALG.A.P. has a long-standing commitment to eliminating duplication of effort and achieving greater harmonization within the industry worldwide. We are proud to be the first scheme-owner to make the industry’s vision of harmonization a reality in the North American marketplace for those seeking a GFSI recognized option.”
The Produce GAP Harmonized Standards, which are available in English and Spanish, and cover field operations & harvesting, and post harvest operations, were initially developed by a Steering Committee of over 30 major fresh produce buying companies, growers and produce trade association staff. The initiative continues to update the standards, most recently to align with forthcoming FDA requirements, and is accepting public comments on the redlined versions until November 21, 2016.
USDA GAP audit now recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative and FDA
USDA adds new service for fruit & vegetable growers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that the Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Plus+ audit program for specialty crops is now accepted as technically equivalent by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
“Technical equivalence means producers utilizing this one-stop USDA audit also meet other U.S. and international regulatory and market requirements,” said Greg Ibach, USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “This important international recognition cuts down on paperwork, saves money and time, and ultimately grows markets for American farmers.”
USDA audits assure buyers, from local restaurants and farmers markets to regional, national and international food distributors, that producers have met required food safety standards and marketing practices. Since the program began in 2012, USDA has certified more than 5,300 producers to the Harmonized GAP Standard. GFSI recognition means these producers now have a new tool demonstrating they meet the standards required by many of the largest food distributors. The new GFSI certification also assists industry selling in international markets, including distributors in the European Union and Japan where GFSI certification is often required.
The department undertook the GFSI technical equivalence process at the request of the specialty crops industry to align the USDA GAP Program with industry recognized food safety audit requirements and to provide the specialty crops sector with a single government-based certification program that meets multiple market access requirements.
The USDA Harmonized GAP Plus+ gives America’s specialty crops sector a new tool for delivering safe products to consumers and growing markets for their products. The USDA program fulfills the technical requirements of GFSI, the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, the industry-driven Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative, and industry best practices in the United States.
USDA is the first to achieve recognition under GFSI’s new technical equivalence for government entities.
"Produce industry one step closed to goal - "one audit by any credible third party acceptable to all buyers"
GlobalGap approves Harmonised Standards
GlobalGap has approved the use of Harmonized Standards as the basis of its checklist for US food safety, GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) level certification audits. This brings the produce industry a step closer to the goal of “one audit by any credible third party acceptable to all buyers.
“The US NTWG (National Technical Working Group) drafted a comparison of the GlobalGAP food safety standards with the Harmonized Standards, found great compatibility, and submitted that comparison to GlobalGAP as a proposed national interpretation guideline,” said Dr David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice-president of food safety and technology, who serves as coordinator of the GlobalGAP NTWG for the United States.
“GlobalGAP’s process allows countries to translate or amend parts or all of the wording of the GlobalGAP standards to best suit the region by means of a national interpretation guideline, as long as the guideline in no way reduces the requirements of the official standards.”
A major breakthrough came last year when GlobalGAP submitted food safety standards in a stand-alone GFSI-level standard format to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for benchmarking. The submission represented only a portion of their Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standards, with a focus on US buyers’ food safety concerns and in an effort to minimize costs to growers.
The full IFA standards, which are used in more than100 nations, include audit items beyond food safety, like worker welfare and environmental stewardship.With this approval, GlobalGAP will be the sole GFSI-benchmarked standard to use the Harmonized Standards, but other audit organizations, such as USDA and NSF Agriculture, are already offering Harmonized Standards audits.
Recent CCOF and GFSI inspections confirm Frieda’s high quality standard
US: Frieda’s receives top scores on Organic Certification and Food Safety Audits
Frieda’s, Inc. has passed their annual California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) organic audit and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmark audit, validating the company’s commitment to providing the highest quality of products to its customers.
In July, the organic audit performed by CCOF required no corrective action from Frieda’s, meaning that the company is in 100 percent compliance with the National Organic Program set by the USDA.
In April, Frieda’s received a superior score of 99.26 percent on the PrimusGFS Packinghouse Audit, the highest global standard and a much more comprehensive and detailed audit than the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) food safety audit. The audit was performed by PrimusLabs.
“We pride ourselves on the quality of our products here at Frieda’s; and food safety is of the utmost importance,” says Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Frieda’s Vice President and COO. “We have the strictest requirements for our own procedures as well as for the suppliers we represent. Our staff works tirelessly to be in the top percentile of compliance so that our customers know that our products are safe for their consumers.”
As one of the first organic certification entities in the United States, the CCOF certifies more than 2,500 organic operations in 38 States and three foreign countries, and serves over 240 supporting members - consumers, suppliers, businesses and individuals.
The GFSI is an initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide.
Frieda’s clients may request updated certificates or final audit results. Please contact Frieda’s Compliance Department for more details.
For more information:
Tel: +1 714-733-7660
FreshCare achieves global food safety initiative benchmark
Australia’s leading industry-owned assurance standard for horticulture Freshcare, today announced that their Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard - Edition 4.1 is now a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognised certification program.
“Our successful benchmarking takes the recognition of our program global, providing benefits to our participating businesses in the Australian domestic market, and extending opportunities for them in the global marketplace,” said Freshcare Chair Allan Dall.
As Australia’s largest and most widely adopted fresh produce assurance program, the achievement of global recognition ensures Freshcare remains at the forefront of domestic and international food safety compliance, underpinning confidence in the safety and quality of Australian fresh produce from paddock to plate.
Now in its 20th year, Freshcare continues its rigorous commitment to food safety which is underpinned by science, supported by training and remains practical and relevant for industry while aligning with global best practice.
Tel: +61 2 8039 9999
US: LGMA focuses on global food safety initiative
As part of its strategic plan for 2012 and beyond, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has identified as a top priority to achieve recognition by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). A focused effort is underway to accomplish this as a means of generating additional buyer acceptance of the LGMA food safety program and reducing duplication of food safety audits for leafy greens farmers.
A key component in reaching this goal was achieved with the introduction of Clarisa Molina, food safety consultant, at an LGMA Board meeting held today in Salinas. Molina has been retained by the LGMA specifically to assist in its efforts to achieve recognition under a system such as GFSI.
"We are very pleased to have someone with Clarisa’s expertise to help us meet increasing demands from produce buyers for globally recognized food safety systems," said Scott Horsfall, CEO and President of the California LGMA. "This is an extremely important issue for both our handler members and buyers who purchase leafy greens. We are confident that the LGMA food safety program can achieve recognition under GFSI, and we now have someone to help in navigating us through this process."
Ms. Molina was previously employed by Azzule Systems – PrimusGFS where she served as chief executive of global audit schemes. Her responsibilities with Azzule included managing the benchmarking of the PrimusGFS scheme. Ms. Molina worked with Primus Labs since 2000 where she served as a field representative and then quality assurance director for auditing. She has been an instructor for several food safety related courses in the U.S. and Latin America and has been a participant on the GFSI Technical Working Group since 2009.
"Clarisa comes to the LGMA with very high recommendations and has extensive experience in global food safety schemes and in food safety in general," noted Horsfall.
The LGMA will keep industry members and the trade posted about the progress of this initiative and encourages interested parties to sign-up to receive its new e-newsletter for updates and more information on this and other activities of the LGMA. To sign-up please visit: http://www.caleafygreens.ca.gov/LGMA_enewsletter
US: Progreso Produce expands growing regions
Progreso Produce continues to grow and secure their position as a leading grower/shipper, not only in the Texas/Mexico import corridor, but also around the United States, Central and South America, with new growing regions, new products and recently upgraded food safety systems.
The Progreso Produce principals, and this third generation produce family, is celebrating their 30th year in business by making strategic growth decisions that will help them continue to grow for future generations. One of those recent changes includes a full scale food safety upgrade to make all farms and packing facilities GFSI compliant.
The GFSI upgrades include a process for continuous improvement of all food safety management systems and benchmarking for various food safety criteria; including proactive water, product and equipment testing.
In addition to food safety upgrades, Progreso has recently expanded their onion program adding additional acreage in Othello, WA, Hatch, NM and Peru. Progreso has also expanded their core commodity program with year round avocados from Mexico and Peru.
Curtis DeBerry, President of Progreso Produce had this to say. "I'm continuously amazed by the continuous changes that drive the produce industry and I’m product to still be doing business nearly thirty years later as we continue to grow and advance based on our customer’s needs and requests."
During the past 30 years, Progreso Produce has steadily grown their business from its roots in Texas onions. Today Progreso offers a year round, onion and watermelon program sourcing from all major growing regions throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Additionally, Progreso is rapidly expanding their strawberry, blueberry and blackberry business with nearly year round availability of blueberries and blackberries and continuing to grow their mango and avocado business.
For more information:
Tel: +1 956-802-2545