Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme

Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme

Harmonise food safety certification requirements for the major retailers in Australia

Harmonise food safety certification requirements for the major retailers in Australia

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Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPs)

In 2012 Horticulture Australia Ltd (now Horticulture Innovation Australia) 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). The scheme is open to all fresh produce businesses that undertake the following activities:

  • Grow produce for retail sale
  • Pack produce for retail sale
  • Operate as an aggregator, distributor, broker or agent supplying produce for retail sale
  • Are direct Suppliers or subcontracted Supplier, i.e. pack in retailer-branded packaging or bulk loose packs

The scope of the HARPS is for the growing and packing of whole produce (whole fruit, whole vegetables and in-shell nuts)The scope does not include the processing or value-adding of produce.

All the major grocery retailers in Australia participate in this program, including: 

  • ALDI
  • Coles Supermarkets
  • Costco
  • Woolworths

The HARPS project has resulted in the alignment of the major grocery retailers in Australia accepting a suite of Food Safety standards that will allow growers and packers to complete a single audit against a single standard that will satisfy all stakeholders, rather than audits against multiple standards.

The major Australian grocery retailers including ALDI, Coles, Costco and Woolworths, have worked together collaboratively under the Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) to identify and develop a harmonized solution that will help reduce the cost and complexity for growers in meeting the requirements of different retailers. The project was supported by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

The SWG retailers identified requirements in addition to the accepted standards and harmonized these additional elements that are common to, and accepted by, all stakeholders down to approximately 60 elements. These are now termed the HARPS Elements.

Under The HARPS Scheme Rules, certification will only be granted once the Supplier is certified to one of the following (base) schemes listed below, plus HARPS:

  • BRC Global Standard for Food Safety
  • BRC Agents and Brokers Standard   
  • Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard  
  • Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Supply Chain Standard    
  • GLOBALG.A.P. - Integrated Farm Assurance
  • SQF - Food Safety Code

Why BSI?

BSI believes the world should be supplied with food that has been produced to an industry recognised food safety standard. We offer a broad range of food safety certification and risk management services to help all organizations in the food supply chain achieve compliance and industry best practice to grow their business.

We’re a leading food safety and certification provider with extensive auditing capacity and the capability to conduct integrated audits for a wide range of food safety standards across the entire food and beverage supply chain – including GFSI-recognized standards.

Our service solution for food safety includes certification, training, assessment and supply chain software, providing you and your customer’s assurance and enabling you to manage risk more effectively.