Getting Started

It’s important to determine whether your business requires HARPS. A Decision Graphic has been developed to assist suppliers in making this decision in relation to their specific activities and business relationships they have in place.

There are multiple ways that a business can be defined as a Tier 2 supplier. Here are some examples of Tier 2 suppliers – please note this is not an exhaustive list. If you are unsure about whether your business is defined as Tier 2, please contact the HARPS Helpline for further information.

  1. Your business is responsible for growing and packing produce into the final retail packaging for one or more HARPS Retailers, however, you do not supply directly to the retailer, you supply via a market agent.
  1. You grow and pack products that are individually labeled with PLU or Databar stickers. Your products are shipped directly to the Retailers DC, however, you sell via a Marketing Company that is the Tier 1 (direct) supplier to the Retailers.
  1. You pack products into trays (that are the final retail packaging) and sell to various market agents (Tier 1) that supply to the HARPS retailers.
  1. Your business is a packer for a Tier 1 supplier, you supply produce back to the Tier 1 supplier after packing. The Tier 1 supplier ships the packed product to the retailer.

Still not sure, call the HARPS Helpline or email for assistance.

What are the Base GFSI Benchmarked Schemes I can choose from?


Why were these programs selected?

The HARPS participating retailers have selected programs that are considered best in class. The programs listed in the table above have either achieved recognition against the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements or are undergoing benchmarking.

What is the GFSI?

Part of the Consumer Goods Forum, The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a member driven, parity-based industry network. GFSI provides thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain.

GFSI is a business-driven initiative for the development of food safety management systems to ensure food facilities are processing safe food for consumers. GFSI “benchmarks” food safety standards, evaluating them against a set of criteria to ensure the core of the standards are equivalent and certification will be acceptable.

My business is already certified to a GFSI Program, so now what?

If your business has already achieved Certification to one of the GFSI approved Programs, your business will need to undergo a HARPS audit (In addition to the GFSI audit) in order to become HARPS Approved. HARPS has been designed to be “bolted-on” to your GFSI Program audit. The two audits are integrated and cannot be conducted separately unless approval is sought prior to the audit taking place. The HARPS audit shall occur at the same time as the GFSI Program audit on an ongoing basis.

What to expect at the HARPS audit:

The HARPS audit has been designed to be conducted in conjunction with the GFSI program audit. The HARPS elements are a “bolt-on” to the GFSI program audit, hence the audit should take place as one, seamless audit. The HARPS standard is not as comprehensive as the GFSI requirements however, HARPS does include additional requirements related to trade and legal compliance i.e. issues that lead to customer complaints, product withdrawals and product recalls that concern the retailers and are not covered in the GFSI programs due to their focus on food safety requirements alone. 

The HARPS Standard places additional focus and prescription on areas such as foreign object management, packaging and labeling controls, and the management of weights and measurement. The auditor will require objective evidence that demonstrates your business’s compliance with the requirements of the GFSI program your business has chosen to implement as well as the HARPS Standard requirements. 

How can I contribute to the ongoing development of the HARPS Standard?

The HARPS Technical Advisory Group  (H-TAG) provides technical expertise to the HARPS Retailer Committee. The H-TAG is open to all industry members who have technical expertise and would like to volunteer to assist with the ongoing development of the HARPS Standard. For further information about the H-TAG refer to 

Next Steps

If your business is not currently undergoing food safety audits, or if you would like further information on the Approved Certification Bodies for HARPS, refer to Scheme Rules Appendix 2.

Select from the list of available Certification Bodies by reviewing information specific to your Retail Customers and which Tier your business is defined as for HARPS (i.e. Tier 1 or Tier 2). It is important that you select a Certification Body that is approved to audit the GFSI program you have selected and is accepted by the Retailers you supply to. For further assistance, contact the HARPS Helpline on 1300 852 219.

The Audit Process

For further information please refer to the FAQs.