Fresh Hub – Food Safety & Quality, Survey and IVA Newsletter

Fresh Hub is The AgriChain Centre’s own regular communication tool for Food Businesses & Produce Handlers.

We aim to inform and assist produce staff in understanding how to handle the produce to be sure it reaches the consumer in the optimum condition to ensure repeat sales. We also provide the latest developments in the area of Food Safety & Quality, Survey and IVA and assist in understanding how food businesses can satisfy all requirements.

Click here to view our archive of previous newsletters, or scroll down to view the latest news articles.

FRESH HUB – 27 May 2020 – Safety, Quality, & Inspection

Welcome to the May 27th Fresh Hub Newsletter.

Our aim is to give you up to date information relevant to Fresh Produce Quality, Food Safety and Inspection. We all have COVID-19 fatigue and are keen to get back to working on our businesses. Here are some non COVID-19 articles that can get you thinking about processes related to your Phytosanitary system.

Winter Planning and Review of your MAO System

Winter is when the fresh produce industry recharges its batteries and plans for the coming season. Part of the planning for MAO’s is to review how the past season went, what worked and what needs improvement.

We all know that the next season will come rushing at us and in this COVID-19 environment nothing can be taken for granted.

Here are some tips on what you would need to look at before the start of the next season and external system audit:

  • Any corrective and preventive actions arising from the previous season have been addressed.
  • Review of your operating system based on any change made to your operation and against the current certification standards and programmes.
  • A general overview of how the organisation views its commitments to its MAO.
  • How relevant paperwork is organised and managed.
  • How your staff are trained.
  • Working conditions of your equipment.

The AgriChain Centre is an IVA with a passion for fresh produce. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your verification and training requirements.

To know more contact Max Ciccioni on 027 445 1309 or email mciccioni@agrichain-centre.com.

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Interpreting Quarantine Pest Lists 101

The role of a Phytosanitary Inspector is to detect pests present on plant products intended for export. If pests are found, these firstly need to be identified by an Inspector deemed competent or an approved laboratory. Based on the result, the now named pest is checked against the target export country’s Quarantine Pest List.

This is one of the most critical steps of the certification process, because the product market eligibility decision is made at this stage. Any error could result in importing countries losing confidence in the New Zealand phytosanitary system.

A Quarantine Pest List identifies the pests considered to be a threat to an importing country. This information is found in the Importing Country Phytosanitary Requirements (ICPRs) or on Import Permits.

The list of ICPRs can be found here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/law-and-policy/requirements/icpr-importing-countries-phytosanitary-requirements/

Quarantine Pests are described with both a common name and a scientific Latin name. The same pest may have different names around the world, so it is the Latin name (made up of the Genus and Species) that is officially recognised. This is important when making the product market eligibility decision. Inspectors should check the identification result against the Genus and Species (Latin) name. In order to do this the Inspector needs to be familiar with the main classification of organisms (Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species).

Here is an example from the USA ICPR:

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What is a Pest?

It is common for Inspectors with limited experience to mostly think of pests as mainly insects. However, Phytosanitary Pests include fungal diseases, bacterial diseases, viruses, nematodes, phytoplasma and weeds (seeds and plant), in addition to insects.

Inspectors need to look beyond the more obvious insects to the other pests included in the Quarantine Pest Lists. In addition, insects can be found at different life stages, including eggs, which are difficult to detect and identify. It is also important to get an approved laboratory identification done, when unsure.

Training Inspection staff is critical to ensuring pests are identified correctly. This is especially so for MAOs which may be operating on a seasonal basis.

The AgriChain Centre has a developed a suite of training for phytosanitary and quality staff which can be tailored to your operation and systems. Our qualified trainers have years of experience and are very practical.

We look forward to working with you to cover your verification and training requirements.

To know more contact Max Ciccioni on 027 445 1309 or mciccioni@agrichain-centre.com.

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Post COVID-19 Airfreight and Quality Challenges

In recent years, the international movement of high value perishable food products via airfreight has increased significantly. The time from harvest to overseas markets has drastically reduced, such as cherries grown in Central Otago and sold in China within 48 hours of harvest.

With the blink of an eye, Covid-19 changed everything we took for granted in our supply chains, including our ability to airfreight fresh produce. Seven weeks from the start of lockdown, airfreight capacity is very limited, and the cost has skyrocketed. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is forecasting a fall in air traffic of 50% in 2020 with recovery to pre-COVID 19 levels in about 2023.

As we move towards winter, New Zealand traditionally imports capsicums, tomatoes and green beans from Australia and exports feijoas, persimmons, tamarillos and passionfruit. Most of these crops rely on airfreight. The increased freight costs means that it is more important than ever to make sure that only premium produce is shipped.

The AgriChain Centre Survey Team provides independent quality assessments which help both importers and exporters to make an informed decision in relation to the marketability of the product and actions to take.

We have Inspectors out and about every day and we can fit in with the typically tight airfreight schedules with some notice.

To know more contact Alex Swann on 027 255 4729 or Aswann@agrichain-centre.com.

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Fresh Hub newsletter (PDF) archives:

Food Safety – 20 April 2020

Food Safety – 09 April 2020

IVA & Survey – February 2020

Fruit Fly – February 2020

Summerfruit – November 2019

Food Safety – November 2019

IVA & Survey – October 2019

Food Safety – October 2019

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Please contact us with any inquiries: Freephone 0800 24 74 24
email us: info@agrichain-centre.com

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