View this email in your browser Issue 25 | September 2021

Freshcare 2030 Vision Released

Freshcare 2030 Vision

We are excited to announce the Freshcare Future Focused: 2030 Vision strategic plan.

Vision 2030 outlines our roadmap to delivering a sustainable future for Australian producers and expand access to existing and emerging markets.

There has never been a greater time to ensure the ongoing stability and resilience of Australia’s industry in an increasingly complex and dynamic global environment. We encourage every level of industry to engage with Freshcare’s 2030 Vision, to build a stronger future together.

View our full strategic plan here.

Freshcare Gains GFSI Recognition for
Food Safety & Quality Standard Edition 4.2

We are pleased to announce that the Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard Edition 4.2 has successfully achieved recognition against GFSI’s Benchmarking Requirements Version 2020.1. The recognition encompasses GFSI scopes BI – farming of plants, and BIII – pre-process handling of plant products.

As custodians of Australia’s most widely used standards, Freshcare CEO Jane Siebum, says the recognition of this standard is a significant accomplishment for the domestic fresh produce industry.

“Our continued benchmark recognition provides validation that our certified growers are demonstrating their food safety systems align with world best practice, strengthening confidence and trust in Freshcare certificates in global supply chains”.

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.

Read the full press release here.

Supply Chain Standard Edition 2 course is now available on Freshcare eLearning

The Freshcare Supply Chain Standard - Edition 2 released in late July, is now available as an eLearning training course to support the implementation of the new standards requirements.

Supply Chain businesses that are new to Freshcare need to undertaking this training prior to implementation and audit to the standard. The course is also valuable for existing participants looking for assistance in transitioning from Edition 1 to Edition 2.

More information and course access can be found here.

Existing participating businesses have six months to transition their existing program to the new standard, with all audits from 1 February 2022 to be undertaken to Freshcare Supply Chain Standard – Edition 2.

Agsafe joins Freshcare Recognised Suppliers

Agsafe provides training and support services to the agricultural chemical reseller network. Agsafe also runs the product stewardship programs drumMUSTER and ChemClear.

When purchasing your ag-chemicals, be sure to look for supplier businesses that are Agsafe Industry Standard Suppliers!

More information here.

National Safe Work Month

October is National Safe Work Month—a time to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace.

Being healthy and safe means being free from physical and psychological harm. No job should be unsafe and no death or injury is acceptable. A safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone.

The theme for National Safe Work Month this year is think safe. work safe. be safe.

Find out more here.

Freshcare Environmental - Reef Assured
What does this mean for Banana Growers?

Freshcare and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council worked with the Queensland Government to have the Freshcare Environmental Program recognised as an accreditation program for commercial banana cultivation under the Reef protection regulations.

Freshcare Environmental is a recognised program for banana growers to demonstrate their compliance with the Queensland Government Reef protection regulations that apply to commercial banana growers in the Wet Tropics. These will take effect for the Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary regions on 1 December 2022, noting that record keeping applied to all growers from 1 December 2019.

Is Freshcare Environmental Certification now a mandatory requirement for Banana growers in Reef Catchments?

Complying with the Reef protection regulations is a mandatory requirement for all commercial banana growers in specified Reef catchment regions.

Freshcare Environmental and the Banana BMP are voluntary practice change programs that support the adoption of the legislated minimum practice agricultural standards.

Banana growers that choose to achieve Freshcare Environmental – Reef Assured certification are considered a lower priority for compliance inspections under the Reef protection regulations.

What to expect at your Freshcare Environmental audit

As an accredited program, Freshcare Environmental (ENV3) audits for banana growers in the specified regions will verify the specified application rates and record-keeping requirements in accordance with the Reef Protection regulations, and in alignment with the ENV3 audit criteria.

Reef Assured is a category added to the Freshcare Environmental Certificate for banana growers who are fully certified and meeting the Reef protection regulation requirements.

What information is reported to the Queensland Government?

Freshcare is required to submit data to the register of certified landholders (including landholder contact and business details and the location of the land on which the activity occurs) to the Queensland Government at least annually. This information is stored on a secure site only accessible to authorised Queensland Government officers. The data is only used to provide prioritisation for the compliance program and cannot be shared or used for any other purpose.

Growers will remain on this list while their certification is current, and their accreditation program maintains its recognition under the Reef protection regulations.

Contact from Government Compliance Officers

Freshcare is in the process of providing certified growers landholder details to the Queensland Government. Where available, the government will take this into account but there may be a time-lag for all relevant data to be provided and verified.

If you are contacted by a government compliance officer and have Freshcare Environmental certification or are due for re-certification against the Reef Assured category, please advise the compliance officer. They will request a copy of your certificate and provide this and your details to the Queensland Government.

Where to go for assistance

Freshcare will continue to update the information available at:

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) Best Management Practice Team can help you access valuable training and support to improve the environmental practice, productivity and profitability of your business through the Banana BMP self-assessment and incentives program.

Visit: or Email:

Queensland Government Reef Protection Regulations website

Scholarships now available for women in horticulture

Women & Leadership Australia, in partnership with Hort Innovation for the fifth and final year, are pleased to launch leadership development scholarships for women in the horticulture industry.

Valued up to 83% of the standard program fee, these scholarships enable more women within the horticulture sector to access powerful and effective leadership development opportunities, and support gender equity across the sector.​ The funding is available to women working in both levy and non-levy paying organisations.​

Limited places are available. Expressions of interest close Friday 8 October unless allocated prior. More information here

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia Enquiries

New Website Launch

Freshcare proudly provides the underpinning standards for Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, enabling participants to achieve certified member program recognition for use of the trust mark.

If your interested in more information about Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, certification to the Freshcare Australian Wine Industry Standards of Sustainable Practice, or in the requirements for becoming a trainer or auditor to these standards, please complete the enquire form here.

Explore the Benestar® wellbeing resources available to you and your team

The Benestar® Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counselling, coaching and wellbeing service, funded by Freshcare, to enable free access to certified businesses, their staff and immediate family members.

Information on how to access these services and resources available can be found at

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 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.

Audit completed
but still waiting to receive your
Freshcare Certificate?

For timely access to your Certificate ensure you have completed these items following your audit:

  • Corrective Actions have been closed with information provided to your Certification Body (not individual auditors).

  • Your invoice has been paid to the Certification Body.

  • Your Certification Body contract has been signed, updated and returned.

If you have completed the items above and are still waiting for your Freshcare Certificate, please contact your Certification Body directly for assistance.

If you have not received a response from your Certification Body, contact us for assistance via this enquiry form.


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‘Reef Assured’ Bananas - Information and resources
Calendar: Upcoming course dates for Freshcare training
Other Resources: Factsheets; Signs and Industry Links
Freshcare Program - Fees and Charges Explained

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