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HARPS addresses key areas of feedback

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APAL has welcomed the formation of working groups in the HARPS Version 2.0 review process, addressing specific areas of feedback from the public consultation period.  

These sub-groups of the HARPS Technical Advisory Group (H-TAG) will tackle detailed technical reviews of key areas, including the duplication of elements with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) program.  

Andrew Mandemaker, APAL Head of Group Quality, Innovation and Commercialisation said this move is a positive development in the review process that will simplify the practical application of the final HARPS Version 2.0.  

“We’re pleased to hear that sub-groups have been formed to further review specific areas that require more attention and detailed technical review”, Andrew said. “Removing duplication will not only improve efficiencies, it will also make the final compliance processes less complicated and the roles of different bodies clearer.”  

HARPS is still scheduled for release in 2022, subject to additional review and refinement, followed by testing via a pilot program with a selection of representative Tier 1 and 2 businesses.   

Tristan Kitchener, Managing Director of One Direction ANZ, the entity responsible for the ongoing management of HARPS, said that the work of the H-TAG sub-groups would ensure the final standard is practical and realistic, taking a risk-based approach to meet the needs of the HARPS Retailers in addressing issues that have led to customer complaints, rejections, withdrawals or recalls.  

“This needs to be something that works for industry broadly, so the H-TAG includes large and small growers among other industry stakeholders,” Tristan said. “At this stage of the review process, the H-TAG is drilling down into the technical aspects that attracted the most feedback from the public consultation process and recommend changes to the Retailer Committee.  To date, over 35 H-TAG and sub-group meetings have been held, and we will continue communicating with stakeholders, pushing a broader understanding around HARPS and updating the website to address FAQs.”  

More information about H-TAG and HARPS can be found on the website. Read the most recent HARPS 2.0 update here. If you would like to be kept up to date with the development of HARPS Version 2.0 please sign up to the HARPS Newsletter here. 

Learn more about Freshcare and the GFSI program here. 

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