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Current Standards

Food and Grocery Code of Conduct

https://www.accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/food-and-grocery-code-of-conduct

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission regulates the Code, which is a voluntary code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The Code governs certain conduct by grocery retailers and wholesalers in their dealings with suppliers. It has rules relating to grocery supply agreements, payments, termination of agreements, dispute resolution and a range of other matters.

The majors that have signed up to the code include:

  • About Life Pty Ltd (retailer) (signed up on 19 May 2015)
  • ALDI (retailer) (signed up on 15 June 2015)
  • Coles Supermarkets Australia (retailer) (signed up on 1 July 2015)
  • Woolworths Limited (retailer) (signed up on 1 July 2015).

HACCP

http://www.haccp.com.au
HACCP Australia is a leading food science organisation specialising in the HACCP Food Safety Methodology and its applications within the food and related non food industries. HACCP publishes many papers on food safety, and manages the certification of food safe equipment and conducts online training and workshops to assist companies in their application for food safety HACCP certification.

AS4982-2003

This standard covers the thermal performance of refrigerated transport equipment - specification and testing. Provides specifications and testing procedures for the thermal performance of refrigerated equipment intended for the transport of perishable goods by road. It is based on the heat balance between the insulating ability of the body and the capacity of the refrigeration unit.

This standard is not generally followed, resulting in many of the cargo failures reported across Australia regularly. For the complete cold chain to work, transparency and visibility of temperature data is the first requirement across critical control points and across all stake holders. Food temperatures must be validated independently.

Code of practice for the road transporation of fresh produce

This code, although a few years old, is considered to be a valuable tool against food spoilage and waste in the fresh produce sector.
It was originally commissioned by the Australian United Fresh Transport Advisory Committee, which was wound up in 2017. The code, a substantial three-book volume was gifted to NATROAD a not-for-profit advocacy body representing the road freight industry since 1948. Its members include more than 45,000 large and small trucking companies employing more than 140,000 people in transporting goods throughout Australia.

The Code was driven to large extent by Gatton based Post-Harvest expert Anne Story along with prominent Fresh Produce transporters such as Lindsay Bros and Nolan’s Interstate Transport, Pickering Transport and Refrigerated Roadways.

Much work was done by the group in an era when curtain-sided trailers were becoming the main game in trailers and many new people were resorting to refrigerating them and carrying produce, with highly variable outcomes depending upon the equipment and the way it was used and for what products.

The Code contains a wealth of Anne’s expertise along with that of her contacts in Californian academia, relating to specific fresh produce characteristics, physiology after harvest and transport compatibilities, centred around temperature groups, respiratory heat and ethylene production and sensitivity. 

Some work had been put into a revision of this Code by NATROAD, with encouragement and support from AFCCC.  In 2019, the AFCCC, realising the urgent need for this Code revision, took the initiative and with the support of others, has applied its internal resources to re-writing the Code booklets. It is planned to share this work with the wider industry early in 2020.

Australian Cold Chain Guidelines 2017

https://www.afgc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Australian-Cold-Chain-Guidelines-2017.pdf

An initiative of the Australian Food & Grocery Council, these Guidelines are intended to maintain the safety and quality of food products as they are handled, transported and stored in their journey from producer to consumer.

Minimising food illness and waste is critically important to consumers, regulators, the food industry and the Australian economy. It has been estimated that contaminated food causes approximately 5.4 million cases of gastroenteritis annually in Australia. Australians are also throwing away food which is worth $5.2 billion a year, including more than $1.1 billion worth of fruit and vegetables and $872.5 million worth of fresh meat and fish. One contributing factor for food illness and waste is poor Cold Chain management.

Proper Cold Chain practice in Australia is also critical for our exports. The USA FDA, for instance, will assess the safety of Australian Cold Chain when deciding whether to allow perishable food to be imported, and exports to Asia are likewise partly determined by the quality of the Australian cold chain operations. Copyright © Australian Food and Grocery Council 2017