[NEW] The April edition of the HARPS Newsletter is out now!
In this edition, we provide our regular update regarding the development of Version 2.0 of the HARPS Standard based upon the feedback received from the January 2021 public consultation. You can find out more about the review process, the role of the HARPS Technical Advisory Group (H-TAG) in developing the next version of the standard, and some key decisions that have already been made for Version 2.0.
We would like to take this opportunity to inform you of an increase to the HARPS Royalty Fee. From 1st July 2022, the Royalty fee for HARPS audits will increase from $245, to $295, plus GST. This fee has remained unchanged since the launch of HARPS in October 2016 and takes into account CPI inflation, as well as the development of tools and training to support the release of the Version 2.0 standard.
In addition, we’ll introduce you to another H-TAG member, Annmarie Schwanke of Merieux NutriSciences, to find out why she joined the H-TAG and what she hopes to bring to the group. We’ve also included an interview with Mark Shaw, Executive General Manager at ACO Certification to gain insight into their desire to join the list of HARPS approved Certification Bodies, and what value they bring to the industry.
Feel free to share your thoughts, opinion, or queries with HARPS by clicking here or contacting the HARPS Helpline on 1300 852 219.
[NEW] HARPS Royalty Fee Increase from 1st July 2022
Our aim is to ensure costs for all suppliers remain fair and reasonable and that any increase does not create a barrier for suppliers to achieve HARPS approval. The fee increase has been closely considered, taking into account CPI inflation and the development and launch of Version 2.0 of the HARPS Standard, together with industry support via guidance documents and training.
The Royalty Fee, together with contributions from the HARPS Participating Retailers, Certification Bodies and Auditors, helps to ensure an ongoing commitment to delivering a harmonised standard that aligns the food safety, trade, and legal requirements of the major retailers in Australia for the supply of whole fresh produce and nuts in-shell.
If you have any questions about the above changes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the HARPS Helpline on 1300 852 219.
HARPS v2 Public Consultation – Update to businesses that provided feedback
The HARPS Technical Advisory Group (H-TAG) has been methodically working through the feedback received during the HARPS Version 2.0 public consultation process. Over 20 meetings have been conducted with the H-TAG since the industry consultation process closed in January 2021.
One of the more significant changes the retailers have agreed upon is the removal of the section on Business Culture. The retailers agreed that a robust and well-implemented strategy for food safety culture is critical to the success of the food safety plan, however, these requirements have been well-addressed in the recent updates of the GFSI standards that support HARPS, and therefore this section will be removed from HARPS Version 2.
In addition to this amendment, following the release of updated GFSI standards multiple changes have been recommended for removal in regard to duplication. Furthermore, the H-TAG has worked to focus on the appropriate placement of responsibilities by business Tier (either Tier 1 or Tier 2).
Recommendations have been developed adopting a science-based approach and ensuring elements are pragmatic and efficient (in terms of implementation) for businesses audited to HARPS, whilst still meeting the needs of the HARPS Retailers and their customers.
We envisage finalising the Version 2 Draft by early 2022 and plan to pilot this draft across different supplier tiers, product categories, and geographical locations to ensure the standard is practical and suitable for the scope of businesses auditing to HARPS. This will be followed by a second round of public consultation to the industry seeking feedback.
We will continue to update the HARPS website FAQ page to provide responses to your questions and feedback. An ‘update date’ has been added to the FAQ page with new FAQs prefaced with ‘[NEW]’ to assist readers to more easily identify and review new FAQs. In addition, we will continue to provide updates via the HARPS Newsletters. If you have not yet subscribed to the Newsletter, we encourage you to do so by clicking on the following link, subscribe to HARPS .
HARPS Logo available to Horticultural Industry Members
We’re excited to announce the availability of the new HARPS Logo to Horticultural industry members.
The Logo, designed with harmonisation as the central idea, displays two circular-shaped leaves symbolising HARPS as a platform with common values and shared ideas for HARPS participating retailers, working collaboratively and efficiently to enhance food safety. The green leaves and colour scheme have been selected to depict the fresh produce industry.
The logo will not be a certification mark, but rather the HARPS symbol alongside the words Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme as displayed here.
The logo is available to businesses that are audited to HARPS along with industry organisations interested in using the logo for marketing purposes.
Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme
In 2012 Horticulture Australia (now Hort Innovation) 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.
HARPS was established with the goal of providing a more practical and efficient approach for growers and suppliers, through streamlining the amount of work undertaken during the audit process. Whilst the magnitude of change will differ between businesses, businesses that were previously audited to multiple schemes for multiple customers will now only require one GFSI approved scheme plus HARPS. This means the audit duration may reduce, and hence overall audit costs should also reduce. HARPS has also required an increased level of awareness and understanding beyond only the Retailers contracted suppliers, with requirements extending to downstream suppliers (depending upon their activities and relationship with their customers).
The HARPS Standard Version 1.0 was released in October 2016. To date over 6,000 audits have taken place across the growers and suppliers to the HARPS participating retailers.
Scan certificates to verify the information
HARPS has partnered with Australian technology company Laava to protect the integrity of their certificates, via the deployment of scannable and secure Smart Fingerprints.
Certificate holders and reviewers can scan the unique Smart Fingerprint on the certificate to verify that the information presented is true and accurate and matches the information within HAPRS digital records. The inclusion of the secure and scannable Smart Fingerprint means that stakeholders can trust the authenticity of the certificate and its content, which is not possible to achieve with insecure technology. Go to Tools-and-Templates to learn more about scanning certificates.
Do you have a query?
Call the HARPS Helpline:
1300 852 219
or, click here to send us your enquiry via email
Are you looking for the HARPS Extension & Exemption Request Form?
This can be found, along with other useful material, on our Tools & Templates page.
We’ve been running a series of HARPS Training Sessions across the country!
If you would like to attend one of the HARPS Training Sessions please click here.