In 2012 Horticulture Australia Ltd initiated a project to harmonise food safety certification requirements for the major retailers in Australia. The result of this project is the Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS).
HARPS is a retailer-led scheme designed to assist with compliance to food safety, legal and trade legislation for suppliers to the major grocery retailers in Australia.
Established with the goal of providing a more practical and comprehensive approach, HARPS has the ability to streamline the amount of work undertaken during the audit process. While the amount will differ between businesses, for those currently audited to multiple schemes for multiple customers, one base scheme plus HARPS means the audit duration will reduce, hence overall audit costs should also reduce.
HARPS is officially live! Since the launch of HARPS in October 2016, more than 700 suppliers have become HARPS approved.
A decision graphic has been developed to assist suppliers in determining whether their business requires HARPS. The terminology in this graphic replaces the previous references to Direct and Indirect suppliers, and uses a tiering system to define supply chain responsibilities and actions required by suppliers.
Additional Support: There will be HARPS awareness sessions held in each state-based Central Market as well as some key growing regions. Additional webinars will be held for those unable to attend these sessions. Dates will be advertised on the HARPS website, via peak industry bodies and directly to those businesses that are registered on the HARPS website.
Additional Time: Tier 2 suppliers that may require HARPS approval will have until 1st January 2019. These businesses should register their interest in achieving HARPS approval here by 30th June 2018.
In addition, low volume producers supplying less than 10 pallets per year will not require HARPS approval. These suppliers will fall under Tier 3 and will be required to be certified to an approved base scheme (see Decision graphic for details).
HARPS is seeking involvement from more growers to participate in the HARPS Technical Advisory Group workshops, to help refine and improve the elements within the HARPS scheme. Please register your interest here.