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 programme 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.
As part of our Food Safety programme, 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, fertiliser 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.
The SIZA programme 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 packhouses. 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. The aim is to encourage continuous improvement in practices over time in excess of the minimum legal requirements.
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.
The Waitrose Foundation (Southern Africa) (WF (SA)) subsequently opened its doors in 2006 in Simondium, Paarl as a partnership initiative between UK-based Waitrose and its supply partners. Joining Waitrose as founding partners were Green Marketing International, Poupart and Gordon Fairbrother with 6 citrus growers as the first grower-members of WF (SA). Namibian growers later in 2013 also joined WF (SA). The Waitrose Foundation (SA) endeavours to improve the standards of living of farm workers employed by Waitrose’s grower supply partners in Southern Africa.
An audit programme exclusive to Marks & Spencer that covers all aspects of quality and food safety within their fresh and frozen produce supply chain.
Adherence to OZblu®’s Food Safety Programme policy is a vital component of all OZblu® production. We educate our farmers about company policy and ensure strict adherence.
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) programme which utilises 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 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.
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 recognised science-based system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food.
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 Programme 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.
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.
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.