Salad Producers Forum - good agricultural practice project (OT06011)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
Salad GAP (Salad Good Agricultural Practices) was an initiative of the Fresh Salad Producers’ Forum, which was formed in Dec 2006, with the objective of collaborating and sharing information and ideas about how to improve the food safety and quality processes and procedures of the fresh-cut salad processing industry.
The Salad GAP project commenced with an initial review of the quality assurance systems operating in the industry at the time, both within Australia and overseas, followed by a Good Agricultural Practice analysis of the Forum members’ grower supply bases. The purpose of this was to determine the standards of operation compared to the level of control that the Forum believed was necessary to reduce food safety risks and provide better protection for industry and consumers at the time. After consultation with industry the Forum collaborated to develop a Good Agricultural Practice Standard specifically for fresh-cuts primary producers and this was implemented within the Forum members’supply bases.
Salad GAP was a set of Good Agricultural Practices designed to minimise the risk of food safety hazards during the growing and transportation of field grown salad vegetables. The completed Standard has the substance and structure to elevate the effectiveness of food safety controls in the field, providing enhanced risk control and ultimately safer product for the Australian consumer. The Standard further provided some valuable tools and educational aids to better inform the grower of the risks involved and strategies about how to negate them.
Through collaboration, the Freshcut Salad Producers Forum developed a unified approach towards the essential non-competitive issue of food safety.
It was evident that a number of the pre-existing quality assurance standards adopted by the grower base at the well intentioned request of the supply chain failed to encompass all of the areas of control required for good risk management in fresh-cut salads manufacture. Compliance with SaladGAP enabled salad growers to demonstrate “best practice” to a range of key stakeholders, including salad processors and retailers. The implementation of the practices identified in these guidelines has the capability to protect the integrity of the salads’ market and was likely to create positive flow on effects for the entire fresh-cuts and salad growing industry.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Harvest FreshCuts Pty Ltd.
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