Quality push promoted in region

QUALITY assurance is a must, south west food producers are being told.

The South West Development Corpor-ation undertook The Clean and Safe Foods Export Study with the Agriculture WA. The results of the study found that quality assurance was needed.

Vicki Staines was appointed in April to assist South West food producers develop quality assurance.

She answers to the South West Development Corporation, AgWA and the WA Department of Commerce and Trade.

Her role is to persuade as many producers in the South West area as possible to undergo quality assurance. Two quality assurance programs have been specifically written to suit farmers in the area.

There are about 2,000 farm producers in the south west.

Total agricultural production from the region was $440 million – 9.8 per cent of the WA total according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ figures.

Some South West producers such as Harvey Fresh already have quality assurance certificates.

“To successfully compete for export contracts in new markets they need QA,” Ms Staines said.

“Most export markets and big supermarket chains overseas require producers to be quality assured.”

The WA Department of Commerce and Trade is currently trying to get WA food producers to take part in a food promotion being run by UK department store Selfridges.

One part of the quality assurance process is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point – a risk analysis for the food industry.

“Most markets require this analysis,” Ms Staines said.

So important is it believed to be, the Australian New Zealand Food Authority is currently creating food standards in which the HACCP plays a major part.

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