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Issue 27  |  November 2021

Freshcare Annual Review 2021 Released

The Freshcare Board and executive team are delighted to share with you our 2020 - 2021 Annual Review.

2021 has marked an exciting year in the Freshcare journey, launching our strategic plan for the next decade. Vision 2030 provides a roadmap for the future of certification for our industry, enabling opportunities for greater access to domestic and international markets.

Despite the many challenges COVID-19 has presented our producers, supply chain businesses, service providers, and retailers; our industry has managed to adapt through this period identifying new opportunities for innovation and growth.

Read about the year that was in our Annual Review, along with our plan to invest in technology, resources, and community engagement to continue to deliver benefits to our participants and members here.

Upcoming Stakeholder Webinar
Thursday 9th December 2021

Freshcare is inviting you to engage directly with our Vision 2030 strategic plan and have a say in how we deliver your certification services, to provide the best outcomes for your business and industry.

Join Freshcare CEO, Jane Siebum and Chairperson Belinda Hazell for the stakeholder webinar, as they unpack the operational plan which will deliver Freshcare’s strategic roadmap and hold a live Q & A forum with those involved.

Event details: Freshcare 2030 Vision - Stakeholder Webinar

Thu, 9 December 2021

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM AEDT

To register please follow this link to get your ticket.

FSANZ Public Call for Submissions on Food Safety Management of Berries, Leafy Vegetables and Melons.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has opened the second public call for submissions on Proposal P1052 – Primary Production and Processing Requirements for Horticulture (Berries, Leafy Vegetables and Melons), to consider primary production and processing requirements to address food safety for horticultural products.
FSANZ has reviewed food safety measures for primary production and processing of berries, leafy vegetables and melons. Four proposed options have been considered:
  1. status quo,
  2. regulation,
  3. a combination of regulation and non-regulatory measures,
  4. non-regulatory measures alone.
FSANZ has stated, “FSANZ's preferred approach is to strengthen food safety management on-farm and during initial processing by introducing nationally-consistent food safety standards for each of the three sectors and work with industry to develop guidance materials to help businesses implement the standards."

FSANZ is calling for comment on all four options, seeking feedback from all interested individuals and organisations. The period for comment closes on 9 February 2022.
Freshcare encourages all indusrty representatives to provide comments and make a formal submission to FSANZ on the proposed regulatory framework.

Freshcare 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.  
Submissions must be made by 9 February 2022 in writing and be marked clearly with the words 'Submission to proposal P1052'. Details for how to submit feedback on the P1052 work can be found here

Freshcare Community Feature: Groves Grown Tropical Fruit

"Food safety is a number one priority for us as we, our families, and our friends eat a lot of our own fruit and we would hate to make anyone sick. Freshcare was developed in consultation with farmers and was presented to farmers for feedback and developed to ensure safe food for all, while still being practical and achievable for small family farms."

Read on about Groves Grown Tropical Fruit in our first ever Freshcare Community Feature here.


Smart Farms Project Update

The application of digital technologies to environmental monitoring, provides the tools to help Australian horticultural producers manage their environmental performance as well as optimise the use of fertiliser, water and other inputs, saving money and protecting the environment at the same time.

The project Digital remote monitoring to improve horticulture’s environmental performance has established four pilot smart farms in Great Barrier Reef catchments, using a digital dashboard to integrate sensor and other data to remotely monitor environmental performance. One pilot farm has been established for each of the nursery, banana, vegetable and avocado industries.

The project is led by Hort Innovation and includes project partners Applied Horticultural Research; Hitachi; Greenlife Industry Australia; AUSVEG; Australian Banana Growers’ Council; Avocados Australia; Growcom; Landcare and Freshcare. AHR leads the on-ground activities and Hitachi Vantara is providing the tools to collect real-time monitoring data within a user-friendly interface. More info here.

Sign up to AHR’s Smart Farms updates here.

Watch the COP26 presentation here

Flooding and Extreme Events Factsheets

If you are a NSW grower who has recently been affected by flooding or extreme events you may be eligible for a Disaster Relief Grant.
The following Food Safety & Quality 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.

This factsheet highlights areas to be focused on following a flood event, to ensure worker safety and produce food safety is maintained. The factsheet contents includes:

  • 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

FSQ Factsheet Download - Flooding Event

Duxton Vineyards Achieves Dual Certification to Freshcare Australian Wine Industry Standard of Sustainable Practice

Freshcare would like to congratulate Duxton Vineyards on becoming the largest viticulture company to achieve dual certification in the Freshcare Australian Wine Industry Standard of Sustainable Practice for both Viticulture and Winery.

With more than 2000 hectares of prescribed native vegetation, the company has several regeneration initiatives already under way, working with Barkindji Maraura Elders Environment Team and the University of Adelaide to establish a native insectarium. 

Read more about Duxton in the latest article from Food & Drink Business.

Free Benestar Support for Certified Members

Do you work in Fresh Produce, Viticulture, Wineries, or Supply Chain Businesses?  

Access our free Employee Assistance Program, available to Freshcare certified participants. 

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

Food Safety Culture a Focus During FSQ4.2 Audits

Food Safety Culture has always been a foundation of the Freshcare food safety standards.  FSQ4.2 audits must assess and report on the business' food safety culture. The FSQ M1 Food Safety Culture Factsheet provides guidance for workers responsible for food safety management within the business including strategies for improving food safety culture, examples, and additional considerations for businesses to demonstrate compliance to this requirement as part of management element 1.3.

Download: FSQ M1 Factsheet - Food Safety Culture (April 2021)

Christmas Hours and Closure Notice

Freshcare will be closed from the 24th December 2021, and will reopen on Tuesday 4th January 2022.
Additional Resources and FAQ
Trainers and Training Dates
Audit Quote Request Form
Freshcare Recognised Suppliers

Become a Recognised Supplier

The Freshcare Recognised Suppliers Register is an integrated service that enables you to search for reputable suppliers and view evidence of the credentials that underpin the products and services they offer, all in a “one-stop-shop”.

Recognised Suppliers

Some of our premium listing suppliers' logos are displayed above. 
If you are interested in becoming a Freshcare Recognised Supplier complete the sign-up form here, or send a request for more information via email.

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