Issue 33    |    April 2022
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Freshcare’s Industry First Initiative

Providing Mental Health & Wellness Services at Hort Connections 2022.   

Freshcare is looking forward to another Hort Connections this year, as Australia reopens more of us can come together to network, celebrate and further develop our industry.

Freshcare’s EAP partnership with Benestar is an industry first initiative. As Australia’s preferred national certification provider, we prioritise the health and wellbeing of our participants, their families and employees.

If you are interested in our EAP services for you, your staff or family we will have a representative at the Freshcare booth at Hort Connections 6 – 8th, June 2022 to discuss Benestar’s mental health and wellness services available.

Freshcare believes the mental health and wellbeing of all Australian growers and horticultural business owners is critical to the sustainability and longevity of our industry.

For more information on how to access your Benestar EAP services, please click here

Benestar will also be hosting a free webinar this month on strategies, tips, and ideas for daily practices to help families focus on the positive aspects of life on Thursday May 12th. Click here to register.

Freshcare Feature: Why is Chemical Management Critical to Your Business?

Chemical management on farm and in the supply chain is not just limited to agricultural chemicals, but also includes cleaning and maintenance of chemicals and fuels.

The establishment of a chemical management program is not just to prevent contamination of fresh produce, but also addresses other key risks including the health and safety of people handling chemicals and the prevention of environmental issues from incorrect handling.

Chemicals are also an expense to every business, and therefore careful use (right chemical, right time, right amount) will help a business's bottom line.

Find out more about Chemical Management here.

Freshcare Strategic Initiative: Foundation Standard

Freshcare proposed entry level standard is aimed at more growers and businesses attaining certification. This exciting industry first initiative will mark the start of many businesses certification journey. Freshcare CEO, Jane Siebum answers questions on the initiative.
What is the Freshcare Foundation Standard?

Freshcare, with the support of industry, is proposing a base level standard and certification framework suitable and achievable for small scale or domestically focused producers. 

Why has Freshcare developed this Standard?

Smaller producers, growers and businesses struggling to meet requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification programs, limiting their access to domestic food markets. 

Over 2,550 farmers nationally are not participating in food safety assurance programs, nor are they monitored by any regulatory framework. 

The Foundation Standard will enable growers to increase income and revenue, support a sustainable industry, protect industry brands and produce (including Australian Grown) and increase traceability across the supply chain. 

How will the Standard benefit growers, businesses and our industry?
  • Develop recognised certification pathways for all growers. 
  • Reduce the risk to food safety and food contamination in the supply chain. 
  • Create long-term sustainable businesses. 
  • Increase national farm participation to certification. 
  • Provide entry level learning modules. 
  • Expand sustainability learning modules. 
  • Reduce the need for government regulation and red tape. 
  • Create an entry level standard, designed to allow a pathway for export capabilities. 
  • Support of new auditors through a training pathway to attain higher level credentials. 
How can you support the Freshcare Foundation Standard Initiative?

We are looking for partnerships with peak industry groups and crop-specific associations that wish to explore the relevance of this approach to the specific needs of their growers.
If you are interested, please contact 

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

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

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 

Thursday, 28 April 2022 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers' Memorial Day. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on how to prevent occupational deaths, injuries, diseases, and illnesses. It is also a day to remember those who have died from a work-related injury or illness. 

This year's theme from International Labour Organisation is ‘Act together to build a positive safety and health culture’. 

Find out more here.

Give Your Feedback to GFSI

In March 2020, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) published a new version of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, the reference document setting expectations for GFSI-recognised Certification Programme Owners. A number of key elements (clauses) were added or modified with this version.

The objective of this online survey is to measure the impact of some of those changes on your business or organisation, and on food safety. Your answers to this survey will provide us with a valuable indicator of how version 2020 of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements contribute to our purpose of safe food for consumers, everywhere.
The survey focuses on changed and added requirements in version 2020 of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements only. A list of these requirements may be found and downloaded here. You may also want to refer to the full GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, which you can download here.
GFSI will be taking responses until the 1st of June.

Click here to take the survey.

Monthly Reminder: Booking Your Audit

When booking your first audit, you must have evidence of completed Freshcare training when booking. 

We recommend training to be completed 3 months prior to allow sufficient time to prepare for your audit and to ensure that you have all the necessary records and tests completed.

When completing Freshcare training via the eLearning platform course review, follow-up and sign-off will normally occur between 2-5 business days from course submission. 

This could extend up to 10-12 business days if additional support is required to be provided to the training participant, or during periods of 'peak submission' (when there have been a high number of training participants submitting for completion at the same time). 

Agvet Voluntary Recall: SCHOLAR Fungicide

Syngenta Australia has initiated a voluntary recall of their SCHOLAR Fungicide.

If you have purchased this product between 30/09/20 to 29/03/22, please click here for further information.

Freshcare Welcomes New Recognised Supplier

Nuleaf Organics Pty Ltd

Based near Mannum, South Australia, Nuleaf Organics manufacture and sell composted poultry manure to Australian Composting Standard AS4454.  
Cost-competitive, environmentally friendly, with a good level of nutrients for plant growth.

Find out more about Nuleaf Organics here.

2022 Renewed Premium Suppliers

Seasol Systems Pty Ltd

Seasol has been Australian made and owned since 1974. We believe in a better way to grow. We support growers with our range of highly refined biological source fertiliser products. They are sustainably made, environmentally beneficial and backed by over $12million in R&D.

The people at Seasol want to see innovative growers getting the best from their crops, nurseries and gardens. We see that plant and crop resilience, combined with soil health are the foundation of profitable and healthy farm businesses and farmers.

Find out more about Seasol here.

April Industry Engagement

Freshcare has been involved in a number of industry events and working groups this month in support of extending our outreach on the value of resources and certification for the industry. 

A recap of Freshcare's activities in April 2022 includes:
  • Implementation Working Group for FSANZ Horticulture P1052, where information on Freshcare Program and Governance was provided to regulators.
  • Attendance at the National Famers Federation Conference in ACT.
  • NSW Farmers Horticulture Committee Meeting, which involved discussions on current issues, Strategy and answer questions on Freshcare Program.
  • Discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on opportunities for collaboration in helping the industry meet Export requirements.
  • Attendance at the Associations Forum Conference in VIC. 
  • Visit the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, QLD.
Freshcare's industry engagement enables us to share insight into the value of our certification services, our certified participants, and the data we have to support growth and opportunities for further collaboration within the industry, to avoid duplication where possible.   

Supporting Regional Communities: Active Farmers

Building stronger and more resilient communities

Active Farmers, a registered Not For Profit Organisation and Health Promotion Charity, brings together farmers and other locals in small farming communities through regular group fitness in a fun and interactive environment.

Designed especially for farmers with limited or no local access to fitness expertise and equipment, Active Farmers provides motivational, challenging and fun training sessions to help promote great physical health and mental wellbeing, and that suit all levels of fitness and experience.

Find out more here.
Image Credit: The Farmer Magazine

Flood and Natural Disaster Resources

Image Credit: ABC News
Freshcare recognises that Australians are going through difficult times right now.

We have created a list for communities impacted by the natural disasters to seek help here, with information on relief grants, mental health resources and more.

All flood-impacted NSW households and businesses will receive clean-up assistance from the government – including the removal of debris, mud and green waste – regardless of insurance status.

Resources on flood clean-up are available here.

Mosquito Outbreak Resources

NSW residents can check whether their area's been affected by mosquito outbreaks here.

Those who are should take the following steps:
  1. Try and avoid areas where mosquitoes are common, like swamps and marshlands.
  2. Wear loose, long and light coloured clothing, especially around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  3. Wear mosquito repellent. Use brands that contain either DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), apply to all uncovered skin and follow the label directions.
  4. Get rid of mosquitoes around the house by using plug-in insecticide mats, flying insect knock-down sprays and fly screens. Remove any water-holding containers outside the house where mosquitoes could breed.
For further resources on mosquitos click here.

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