[NEW] HARPS v2 Public Consultation – Update to businesses that provided feedback

On Friday 8th October, all businesses that provided feedback as part of the industry consultation of the HARPS Version 2.0 Standard, were contacted to provide an update on the status of the Version 2 review.

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 .

The Winter Edition of the HARPS Letter is out now!

Find out about the audit process and what goes on behind the scenes from the perspective of the HARPS auditor and the Certification Body. Gain insight into the steps involved prior to the audit taking place, right through to receiving your HARPS certificate, and what happens after the auditor has left your premises.

There’s also an update about the ongoing development of HARPS Version 2, as well as an opportunity to meet two of the H-TAG Members. To access the HARPS Newsletter please click here.

Want to subscribe and receive the HARPS Newsletter in your inbox? If so, please click here.

[NEW] 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.

Please click here to review the HARPS Logos Style Guide Rules and Specifications

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.

HACCP Refresher for HARPS

HARPS, in collaboration with Quality Associates, is pleased to offer a HACCP Refresher course for HARPS (meeting the requirements of Element 5.2).

Use the code HARPS15 when you check out for a $15 discount on the course.

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.