Freshcare is an industry owned, not-for-profit on-farm assurance program, established
and maintained to service the Australian fresh produce industry. Freshcare is currently the largest
Australian on–farm assurance program for fresh produce; proudly providing on-farm food safety &
quality and environmental certification services to over 5000 members nationally. The foundations of the
Freshcare Program are the user-friendly Codes of Practice and detailed training support materials. The
Freshcare Codes describe the practices required on farm to provide an assurance that fresh produce is
safe to eat, has been prepared to customer specifications and legislative requirements; and has been
grown with care for the environment.
Freshcare currently offers certification to the following Codes of Practice, following participation in
an approved Freshcare training course:
- Freshcare Food Safety & Quality
- Freshcare Environmental
- Freshcare Environmental – Viticulture
- Freshcare Environmental – Winery
The Freshcare Codes of Practice are versatile and user-friendly, created to be implemented as stand-alone
programs or integrated as one combined on-farm assurance system. The Freshcare Codes of Practice can also
be incorporated with other quality, food safety and farm management schemes such organic certification.
ACO is able to conduct the Freshcare audit in conjunction with the ACO annual audit. This will assist
in a couple of different ways with audit management during the year and the cost saving of having both
audits conducted at the same time.
To apply for Freshcare you will need to make contact directly with
Freshcare or 1300 853 508
to complete the required training. Once you have completed the required training we can then accept your
application for Freshcare certification and proceed to conducting the Freshcare audit.
The Freshcare Code of Practice & Rules sets out the requirements and process of obtaining Freshcare Certification.
It is available on the Freshcare website.
The use of the Freshcare mark is detailed in the Freshcare Rules.
The general application process is as follows:
- Complete Freshcare Training
- Application documents are submitted to ACO for review
- Once the application is completed and reviewed by the office and on-site audit will be allocated
- The auditor will complete the on-site audit
- The Certification Office completes a review of the on-site inspection report
- Once all outstanding issues have been addressed the Freshcare certificate of compliance is issued
- Annual audits (surveillance audits) are required to verify compliance
- On successful completion of the annual audit and closure of any corrective actions, a report will be submitted to Freshcare and a new certificate of compliance is issued
The associated fees can be found on the fee schedule and the contractual rights and duties are located in the
Certification Agreement which can both be located using the form search on this website.
Operators have the right to appeal certification decisions made by ACO. The process is as follows:
- The certified operator at all times has the right of appeal of decisions by either the auditor, the CRC (Certification
Review Committee) or CO. Such appeals will usually be at the expense of the operator, except where it is shown that
fault lies with the CO.
- An appeal of a non-compliance decision must be filed within 30 days from the receipt of the notification. Appeals are to be
processed based on an application (in writing) from the applicant / Certified Operator concerned OR where the CO deems
that an Appeals Committee needs to be enacted on behalf of a client. In the event that the appeals process sustains the
client’s appeal, the CO will enter into negotiations with the client to offer reinstatement of certification and endeavour
to find agreement with the client on a mutually satisfactory management plan including communication with industry in
relation to the matter.