A MAJOR tracking and traceability organisation has signed on to improve food safety management for Australian fruit and vegetable production.
GS1 Australia has signed an agreement with Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) help to achieve enhanced food safety through the use of a national food recall platform.
GS1 is a not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for business communication. It is best known for the barcode.
PMA A-NZ has encouraged the adoption of the GS1 Australia Recall portal within the fresh produce industry to assist growers and suppliers address major challenges of food tampering and food safety.
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The use of the Recall platform is supported by Food Safety Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) as a communication tool that enables organisations of any size, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and importers to share product recall notifications with their trading partners and regulators.
In February this year, ministers from the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, requested FSANZ to identify appropriate regulatory and non-regulatory measures for Australia to manage food safety risks.
Particular products included berries, pre-cut fruits and melons.
The request created a microscopic focus on the risk management of these products and has become a key focus area for produce growers, suppliers and the PMA A-NZ.
PMA A-NZ chief executive officer, Darren Keating, said food safety underpinned the success of the entire fresh produce industry.
"By using tools such as GS1 Australia's Recall platform, the industry can achieve greater speed and consistency in the management of their product recalls and withdrawals, delivering safer produce to Australian consumers," he said.
Recall is also certified by HACCP Australia as an effective and suitable technology for businesses that operate a HACCP based Food Safety Program.
GS1 Australia's chief customer officer, Marcel Sieira, said the organisation was proud to continue its collaboration with PMA and help members be better prepared for product recalls.
"Being able to communicate with your key trading partners and regulators is key for organisations to protect their customers, their reputation and their brand," he said.