MEDIA RELEASE – December 21, 2017
THE COUNTDOWN TO HARPS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Since the launch of the Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS) in October 2016, over 700 suppliers have become HARPS approved. We acknowledge and commend the suppliers that have achieved compliance over this period. Throughout this time, the positive collaboration and continued support of the five major retailers has been a highlight.
From January 2018, the Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS) is seeking registration from any business that has not yet implemented HARPS. Registration is open from 5 January 2018 for all direct supply businesses that supply whole fruit, whole veg or nuts in shell to Australia’s major retailers. Register at www.harpsonline.com.au as you will have until 30 June 2018 to complete your registration. HARPS is also optional for suppliers based in New Zealand.
SO WHAT IS HARPS?
HARPS is an initiative that harmonises all the additional food safety requirements developed by each of the five chain retailers into one scheme that all retailers accept. The HARPS project was funded by Hort Innovation using horticulture industry levies and Government funds, ongoing contributions from Australian retailers and is now managed by PMA Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ). HARPS bolts on to any one of the four approved base schemes: BRC, Freshcare, GLOBALG.A.P. and SQF.
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.
DO I NEED HARPS?
Your businesses scope or activities will determine whether you may be required to gain HARPS approval. Direct suppliers (i.e. growers or grower-packers of product into final retail packaging), wholesalers, agent or suppliers of ancillary services (i.e. ripening, storage and cooling) may also require HARPS approval.
The simplest way to be sure a HARPS audit is required is to ask relevant people within your supply chain. For growers this means asking your customers or buyers. A good question to ask is whether your business is listed as an approved supplier to one or more of the HARPS participating retailers. If it is, your business may require HARPS.
Some businesses may now need to undergo HARPS approval even though they had not considered themselves direct suppliers in the past. It is important to note that HARPS audits are typically conducted at the same time as a base scheme audit. If a business already has a base scheme booked for 2018, HARPS can be added.
For more information go to www.harpsonline.com.au or call the help line on 1300 852 219.
Contacts: HARPS Project Team, 1300 852 219.
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