The HARPS committee has recently issued a decision matrix to assist growers to make an appropriate judgement as to whether their business requires HARPS to accompany their base scheme. To coincide with this, HARPS have allowed extra adoption time for those suppliers that are classed as Tier 2 or Tier 3 and exempting growers that produce less than 10 pallets per annum (this excludes supply of retail branded pre-packs). HARPS will also be providing additional support in the form of awareness sessions that are to be conducted at the capital city central markets and online in the form of webinars – see http://harpsonline.com.au for details.
What should I do?
Firstly, you will need to use the decision matrix to determine where your business fits in term of the matrix (Tier1-3 or Out of Scope). If you determine that your business is categorised into either Tier 1 or 2, then you may need to attain HARPS and therefore you must register with HARPS on their website (above). For those in Tier 1, you will need to implement HARPS as soon as possible. For those in Tier 2, you may have to implement HARPs so you will need to contact your customer(s) to ascertain if you need to adopt the HARPS program. If any of your customers require you to adopt HARPS, you will have until 1 January 2019 to achieve certification. If your business is classified as Tier 3, then you will not need to implement HARPS unless you are packing product into retail branded packaging. Out of Scope classified businesses do not need to adopt HARPS unless your business activities change. It is recommended that all businesses review the HARPS decision matrix when changes occur within the business.
For those vegetable grower that require assistance to implement and adopt HARPS, they can contact vegetablesWA’s Quality Assurance Coordinator Joel Dinsdale. (firstname.lastname@example.org)