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Issue 29  January 2022

NEWS JUST IN:

New Year Outlook

Freshcare CEO Jane Siebum provides an outlook on the year ahead

The Freshcare team is looking forward to a new year with many exciting initiatives underway. I am pleased to share our upcoming projects, as Freshcare continues supporting our industry to provide Australians with some of the best produce in the world.

We are once again faced with new challenges as the pandemic rolls on, creating uncertainty and destabilisation for many. However Australian farmers and the horticultural industry proved over the past two years, our rural and regional communities are strong, resilient, and adaptable to change.

Towards the end of 2021 Freshcare launched four key projects focused on reducing the administrative burden facing many in our community, providing fit-for-purpose standards and accessible resources.

We created a roadmap for accessible certification, reduced duplication and streamlined auditing processes – Freshcare can continue providing standards and programs owned and developed by and for, the Australian fresh produce industry.

We are seeking support and investment from industry and government with our major projects, to provide positive outcomes for our growers, supply chain businesses, retailers, and all Australian farmers.

Freshcare’s key projects aim to:

  • Create certification pathways for grower operations and businesses of all sizes.
  • Provide online user-friendly learning modules, for easy access to training and resources.
  • Streamline auditing process through digitisation, smart checklists, and multi-site auditing.
  • Remove auditing duplication through program add-ons and fit-for-purpose certification.

As an industry, we need to embrace the right technology by starting with simplified resources and working towards more complex systems. Smaller businesses need options to begin their certification journey. Freshcare aims to work with industry to develop virtual technology, shaking up and transforming some of the past practices to give businesses the assistance they need.

If you would like to throw your support behind these projects directly, please contact the office to find out more.

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Provide a Letter of Support for Freshcare Projects

Let’s keep certification made by growers, for all growers to keep our industry thriving.

We are currently seeking support and investment from industry and government with our major projects, to provide positive outcomes for our growers, supply chain businesses, retailers and all Australian farmers.

With your help and support, we can continue to assure growers and businesses are able to supply Australians with some of the safest, highest quality produce in the world. Find out more about our Project Roadmap here.

Click here to download your Freshcare Letter of Support – fill in your details and email it back to us. We will include you and your business as a supporter in our upcoming funding submissions.

Freshcare Chairperson Belinda Hazell Receives OAM

Congratulations to Freshcare Chairperson Belinda Hazell for being awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her outstanding contribution to our agriculture industry.

Belinda was recgonised on the 2022 Australia Day honours list for her ongoing service to Primary Industries and has been a long-time advocate for women in the agricultural sector.

Read the full article here.

Promoting the Freshcare Community

We want to hear from YOU about why you do what you do so that we can get more rural and regional Australian voices out there.

Send us a photo of your farm or your people and a caption about what you grow and why you love it! 

Tag us @FreshcareLtd on social media, direct message or email them through to media@freshcare.com.au

In the meantime, follow our social media pages below for regular updates community features, the latest news, and grants opportunities.
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Flexible Audit Options Available for Extraordinary Circumstances and COVID-19

Freshcare has ensured that Certification Bodies have procedures in place to enable businesses to maintain their certification throughout extraordinary circumstances and COVID-19 impacts. This includes options for providing certificate extensions and the flexibility for two-part audits to be undertaken.

If your audit is due, or scheduled and you are currently impacted by extraordinary circumstances or COVID-19 please contact your Certification Body directly for assistance. If it is possible for the auditor to conduct your on-site audit, it should be undertaken when scheduled. If your audit can not be undertaken due to extraordinary circumstances or COVID-19, Certification Bodies can advise on alternate options in consideration of individual business requirements.

Certification Body contact details can be found here.

Freshcare Event in March: Empowering Small Businesses and Supply Chain

New Freshcare Event Coming Up in March!

Freshcare will be running an event in late March at Sydney Markets as part of NSW Small Business Month thanks to support from the NSW Government.

We will be providing more details soon so make sure to follow our social media and keep an eye out for announcements!

Supply Chain Standard Edition 2 Transition by 1 February 2022

Tuesday 1 February 2022 is the transition date set for all Supply Chain audits to be undertaken to the Supply Chain Standard Edition 2.

From 1 February 2022, only audits to Supply Chain Standard Edition 2 (SC2-FSQ) will be undertaken. 

Existing Freshcare participants in Edition 1 can now access the updated Supply Chain Edition 2 resources including worked examples, templates for record-keeping, and factsheets, via their FreshcareOnline login.

If you have any questions regarding Supply Chain Edition 2 download the Transition Guide here.

If you require assistance accessing resources, please contact Ph: 1300 853 508 or E: info@freshcare.com.au

To purchase a Supply Chain Edition 2 Manual visit the eStore.

New supply chain participants that are keen to progress to certification, will need to undertake training to assist with program implementation and preparation for audit. Information on the Supply Chain Standard Edition 2 course can be found here: www.freshcare.com.au/elearning

Expand Your Business Reach Through the Freshcare Recognised Supplier Service

Sign up as a Freshcare Recognised Supplier and promote your service or product to over 10,000 growers and affiliated fresh produce businesses Australia wide. 

If your business provides products or services to the fresh produce and wine industry, listing as a Freshcare Recognised Supplier not only provides you access to large, national targeted market – but demonstrates your legitimacy as an accredited supplier to industry.  

All packages offer you the opportunity to include evidence of your business’s credentials on compliance, accreditation or written declarations.  

For more information on pricing packages and to sign up click here.  

Recognised Suppliers that opt for a premium subscription have their logos featured on the Freshcare homepage; in our newsletters; and on promotional print media.

Benestar February Outlook - Being your best at work

The pandemic has changed the way we work and it’s safe to say that workplaces will never quite look the same again. This month we’re helping you to keep your people connected, engaged and productive as you navigate new flexible work arrangements and manage remote or hybrid teams.

Resources for employees

What is Benestar? 

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by Benestar is a confidential counseling, coaching, and wellbeing service free for all Freshcare certified businesses, their staff, and immediate family members.  The service offers help to manage work and life experiences, issues, or concerns that arise from time to time. 

Access hours of health and wellbeing blogs, podcasts, videos, meditations, self-assessments, activities and more via the BeneHub website and app. View content anytime, anywhere or speak to one of Benestar’s coaches using LiveChat or online messaging. 

To register simply follow the steps below to create your BeneHub account. 

  • Enter Company ID FCR and Token FCR01 

For more information visit www.freshcare.com.au/benestar-eap

Flooding Factsheet

A Factsheet has been developed to highlight the additional measures that may need to be considered by businesses impacted by a natural disaster or flood event.

Click here to access our factsheets on how to maintain food safety during floods regarding:
  • General advice

  • Water sources

  • Agricultural chemicals

  • Facilities, equipment and tools

  • Sourcing from alternate suppliers (emergency supplies)

  • Biosecurity considerations

  • Growing sites and replanting

  • Worker training

  • Incident management

  • Getting additional help

Flood Relief Grant for NSW Growers

Funding for NSW primary producers affected by storms and floods From February and March 2021 onwards – due 22 March and is available to support NSW’s agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture industries to rebuild and recover in the medium and long term.

Find out more here.

Free Biosecurity Course from Plant Health Australia

PHA’s Biosecurity Online Training (BOLT) platform provides e-learning courses related to plant biosecurity. Access is free and available to anyone with an interest in biosecurity.

Courses cover topics including Plant Biosecurity in Australia, National EPP Response Management, and Pest Reporting & Responses, 

Find out more here.

Proposal P1052 Update - Primary Production and Processing for Horticulture (Berries, Leafy Vegetables and Melons)

If you are interested in providing feedback, FSANZ has extended the close date for the Second Call for Submissions until Wednesday 16 February 2022.

Submissions should be made in writing and be marked clearly with the words 'Submission to proposal P1052'. Submissions can be e-mailed to submissions@foodstandards.gov.au.

Freshcare has been actively involved in the P1052 review and will be making a submission to FSANZ in support of Australian producers being recognised for their commitment to food safety. Freshcare certified producers of Berries, Leafy Vegetables, and Melons are already participating in a recognised, nationally-consistent, globally benchmarked food safety standard (FSQ4.2), that provides verification of food safety practices via independent third-party audits annually.  

Freshcare encourages all industry representatives to provide comments and make a formal submission to FSANZ on the proposed regulatory framework. Details for how to submit feedback on the P1052 work can be found here

Traceability Workshop - 17 Feb

The 2-hour virtual workshop will aim to inform our growers about the use of digital platforms to improve volume forecasting, harvest records and traceability. Free for VSGA members.
Click here to Register

Supporting Regional Communities

Humans of Agriculture is a great publication dedicated to bringing incredible human stories of Aussie farmers to the world.

From industry advocacy to inspirational stories, Humans of Agriculture covers a diverse range of Aussie farmers to make sure rural voices and communities are heard.

Find out more at Humans of Agriculture.

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