Food Safety & Compliance

Safety, Ethics, Sustainability and Transparency are OZblu’s priorities in every aspect of our company and farming operations. They are the principles which guide our decisions and actions related to environmental protection, resource conservation, business practices, and the health, safety, and wellbeing of our consumers, employees, farmers, their workers and our broader community.

OZblu’s Food Safety Program

Our blueberries are grown, harvested and shipped with the highest standards of care possible and our rigorous food safety standards apply regardless of where the berries are grown.

 

Our food safety program is founded on the principles of Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) established by retailers belonging to the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group and reinforced through annual third party audits.

 

OZblu has a dedicated technical team, which together with our farmers, upholds all the requirements necessary to comply with world class safety standards. We can confidently assure any buyer of our blueberries, with traceability and accountability throughout the supply chain.

 

OZblu applies the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) – an internationally recognised science-based system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food.

Audits

As part of our Food Safety program, independent third party auditors verify that Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) are being followed on every farm and facility around the world. Audits are performed in the fields, cooling facilities and distribution facilities to monitor soil, water, fertilizer use, pest control methods, harvest practices and food safety and security procedures.

 

These include: GLOBALG.A.P., Tesco Produce Packhouse Standard (TPPS), M&S Field To Fork, FSSC 2200, and SIZA.

Global GAP Logo

Global G.A.P.

 

GLOBALG.A.P. is the world’s leading farm assurance program. The GLOBALG.A.P.  Standard incorporates quality, food safety, production, worker welfare and sustainability standards for the certification of agricultural products.

www.globalgap.org

FSSC22000 Logo

FSSC 22000

 

The FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certification provides a framework for effectively managing an organisation’s food safety responsibilities. FSSC 22000 is fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is based on existing ISO Standards. This certification shows that a company has a robust Food Safety Management System in place that meets the requirements of customers and consumers.

www.fssc22000.com

SIZA Logo

Sustainability Initiative of South Africa

 

The SIZA program was established as a pro-active response by the South African fruit industry to promote sound and on-going improvement of ethical labour practices on South African fruit farms and in pack houses. It provides a platform for agricultural stakeholders to ensure ethical and environmentally sustainable trade. This platform monitors care for the environment and compliance with labour legislation. With the aim to encourage continuous improvement in practices over time in excess of the minimum legal requirements.

www.siza.co.za

Tesco Logo

Tesco Produce Packhouse Standard

 

The TPPS is a manufacturing standard exclusive to Tesco, which aims to ensure that all Tesco brand products are safe, meet legal requirements and are of the agreed quality.

M&S Field To Fork Logo

M&S Field To Fork

 

An audit program exclusive to Marks & Spencer that covers all aspects of quality and food safety within their fresh and frozen produce supply chain.

Policies

Adherence to OZblu’s Food Safety Program policy is a vital component of our independent farmer contractual relationship. We educate our farmers about company policy and ensure strict adherence.

Pesticides

In South Africa, the Department of Agriculture Forestry’s and Fisheries strictly regulate the use of pesticides. Any pesticide use is in strict compliance with South African, European and CODEX laws and regulations.

 

OZblu has a vigorous Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program which utilizes natural methods (such as the introduction of beneficial organisms) to reduce disease and control pests as a first option. We will only use pesticides as last resort. All employees that apply these products on our farms are fully trained and certified to do so. We also closely monitor all field records to ensure proper usage.

 

We do not use any pesticides containing glyphosate.

Water

Water used for irrigation comes from natural sources. This water is routinely tested for heavy metals and microbial contamination and, if need be, treated naturally with UV, Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Growers are committed to using water sources sustainably through strict irrigation methods and monitoring systems.

Foreign Object Contamination

OZblu blueberries are handpicked and the harvesters are routinely audited to ensure compliance with good agricultural principles. Our blueberries are packed in the final consumer punnets and/or bulk export cartons in our very own state of the art packing sheds. These packing facilities are carefully monitored and audited to verify compliance with good agricultural practices and HACCP principles. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognized science-based system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food.

Farmer Education and Support

OZblu’s Quality Assurance and Food Safety departments have full-time employees who monitor fruit quality and work closely with farmers to ensure that the standards of our Food Safety Program are met.

 

OZblu famers are supported by the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA), which provides a platform for agricultural stakeholders to ensure ethical and environmentally sustainable trade. This platform monitors care for the environment and compliance with labour legislation with the aim to encourage continuous improvement in practices over time in excess of the minimum legal requirements.

Quality Assurance

OZblu blueberries are grown, harvested and shipped with the highest standards of care possible, regardless of where they are grown. We routinely audit all our farms and facilities to ensure that we comply with and exceed national and international food safety rules.

 

Our blueberries are packed, sorted and graded using state of the art blueberry pack lines  engineered to measure and sort by our required physical attributes without causing damage to blueberries.

Product Traceability

Each tray of OZblu blueberries is labelled in the field. Our pack house then creates a pallet ID with an individual grower, variety and phase/orchard number. Using this ID we can track the original source and current location of any package of OZblu blueberries.

 

In the rare event of a product quality concern or recall, OZblu can quickly determine the product source (area/farm), investigate the issue and if necessary, retrieve the product throughout the distribution chain.

 

Forward and backward traceability are tested at least annually per producer to ensure effective traceability.