Agreement and technology will see the fresh fruit and vegetable industry better prepared for product recalls.

Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) and GS1 Australia have officially signed an agreement to support the Australian fresh fruit and vegetable industry to achieve enhanced food safety through the use of a national food recall platform.

The peak industry body PMA A-NZ encourages the adoption of the GS1 Australia Recall portal within the fresh produce industry to assist growers and suppliers address major challenges of food tampering and food safety.

In February this year, Ministers from the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, requested Food Safety Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) to identify appropriate regulatory and non-regulatory measures for Australia to manage food safety risks. Particular products included berries, pre-cut fruits and melons. The request creates a microscopic focus on the risk management of these products and has become a key focus area for produce growers, suppliers and the PMA A-NZ.

Darren Keating, ceo of PMA A-NZ, says, “Food safety underpins the success of the entire fresh produce industry. By using tools such as GS1 Australia’s Recall platform, the industry can achieve greater speed and consistency in the management of their product recalls and withdrawals, delivering safer produce to Australian consumers.”

The use of the Recall platform is supported by FSANZ as a communication tool that enables organisations of any size, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and importers to share product recall notifications with their trading partners and regulators. Recall is also certified by HACCP Australia as an effective and suitable technology for businesses that operate a HACCP based Food Safety Program.

“GS1 Australia is proud to continue its collaboration with PMA,” said Marcel Sieira, GS1 Australia’s chief customer officer, “and help their members be better prepared for product recalls. Being able to communicate with your key trading partners and regulators is key for organisations to protect their customers, their reputation and their brand.”