HARPS Newsletter September 2023 Edition

The HARPS Version 2.0 Standard has been live since 17th October 2022, with all Tier 1 businesses audited to this new standard since 17th April 2023.

Importantly, the transition date for Tier 2 suppliers to be audited against the Version 2.0 Standard is just around the corner. From 16th October 2023, all Tier 2 suppliers will need to be audited against the Version 2.0 Standard for HARPS. Keep reading for further information on how to support your business’s transition to the new Standard.

Also in this edition of the HARPS newsletter, you’ll find information on the HARPS Survey. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on your experiences with the HARPS audit, as well as provide any suggestions for improvements.

This newsletter also provides information regarding changing the Certification Bodies that conduct your HARPS audit, as HARPS now requires an online form to be completed.

Feel free to visit the HARPS website www.harpsonline.com.au or call the HARPS Helpline 1300 852 219 for any queries.

HARPS Version 2.0 Transition Timeline: Tier 2 supplier transition deadline approaching….
We are approaching the mandatory transition date for Tier 2 suppliers to HARPS Version 2.

Version 2.0 will become mandatory for Tier 2 suppliers from 16th October 2023 (i.e., after 17th October 2023 Tier 2 suppliers will NOT be able to use HARPS Version 1.0).

This does NOT mean that you will need to schedule another HARPS audit after 16th October, as your next Version 2.0 audit falls in line with your normal GFSI Scheme and HARPS audit cycle. For example, if your audit for Freshcare and HARPS typically occurs in April, your next Freshcare and HARPS audit (against HARPS Version 2.0) will not occur until April 2024.

Information to assist you with your transition from HARPS Version 1.0 to 2.0

In addition to the Guidance embedded within the new standard, a range of supporting documentation and material has been developed. The following tools and training will be available to support your business transition to Version 2.0:

Quality Associates Training (RTO 41341) is currently offering HARPS Version 2 courses, as well as HACCP Refresher and HACCP Foundation courses that are HARPS Version 2 compliant.

 If you book in the month of September, a discount of 15% applies to all HARPS Version 2 and HACCP Foundation for HARPS courses.

Book now with the code SEPTPUBLIC15 to take advantage of this offer

Fresh Business Training is here to support your business as you progress to HARPS Version 2.

From now until the end of October, enrol two staff members in our HARPS Version 2 course and we will provide complimentary access to the course for another staff member.

We are also able to support your company with your HACCP and HACCP Refresher training needs to meet HARPS Version 2 standard requirements.

Further information is available on our website www.freshtraining.org or reach out to one of our friendly staff on 1300 637 374 and we will be able to assist you.

As always, you can contact us via the HARPS Website by filling in an enquiry form or contacting the HARPS Helpline.

The Document Library on the HARPS website has been updated with a host of new documents to help support your business transitioning to Version 2.0.

Food Safety Grower Guides

As part of the Industry Outreach Strategy for Food Safety Standards initiative funded by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) in 2022, the FPSC developed 13 Food Safety Grower Guides to fill recognised gaps in industry resources for small growers.

The guides provide key information and best practice guidance on food safety for fresh produce growers, from pre-harvest to post-harvest activities. With the upcoming changes to regulations for leafy vegetables, berries and melons, these guides will also help growers adopt practices that will ensure compliance.

Freshcare and HARPS Combined Resources – available on the Freshcare website!

Freshcare Certified businesses that also have a requirement for approval to HARPS can now benefit from a single user-friendly resource that incorporates both standards. Growers and supply chain businesses can benefit from these forms starting today. Click here to learn more.

Want to have your say? Complete the HARPS Survey!

Audit delivery, accuracy and consistency of auditors and the cost of auditing have been the subject of much debate and discussion since the release of the HARPS standard in 2016. To better understand industry sentiment relating to these concerns, the HARPS Retailer Committee agreed to conduct surveys, post-audit, aimed at establishing an improved understanding of the pain-points for HARPS client auditees.

Want to let us know about your experience with the HARPS audit? HARPS is running a survey to help us understand your views and experiences about HARPS and the audit process. For any business that has undergone an audit, a survey link is provided to you via email with a copy of the HARPS Certificate and the final audit report. Otherwise, click here to tell us your thoughts.

[NEW] Selecting a Certification Body for HARPS

If your business is undergoing a HARPS audit for the first time or is currently audited for HARPS and you’re looking to change from your current Certification Body to a new Certification Body, HARPS now requires that you complete an online form to make your selection. Previously you would be required to contact your new or previous Certification Body to make this change, however the process change will prevent Certification Bodies scheduling audits for clients that are no longer requiring their services.

Click here for further information and to complete an online form:

Did you know that 7 Certification Bodies can audit against the HARPS Standard? Under the HARPS Scheme Rules – Certification Body Matrix, available here, you can access the Certification Bodies that are permitted to audit your business.

Please note, for Tier 1 Suppliers, the respective HARPS Retailer makes the decision regarding which Certification Bodies are approved.

For Tier 2 Suppliers, the Certification Body must be approved to conduct the audit for your chosen GFSI standard. For Tier 2 suppliers to Costco, please take note of the additional rules as shown below.

If you need any assistance to help identify the Certification Bodies authorised to audit your business for HARPS, please contact us on the HARPS Helpline at 1300 852 219 or complete a HARPS enquiry form.