The Fresh Produce Safety Centre, with support from NSW DPI/Biosecurity & Food Safety, has launched a project to develop an outreach strategy to promote food safety and good handling practices amongst smaller horticulture operations in the leafy green and berry industries. The NSW DPI has tasked the FPSC to develop an effective outreach strategy to help these smaller growers improve their understanding of food safety.

To develop the outreach strategy, the Fresh Produce Safety Centre has employed a project manager, Patrick Ulloa. Patrick has many years of experience in both the leafy green and berry industries developing effective quality and food safety systems. A consulting firm has been invited to collaborate in this project to assist with their expertise in communications and stakeholder engagement.

The first steps in the project include an inception workshop which will include core project stakeholders to ensure the project scope, outcomes to be achieved, and roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Additionally, stakeholder mapping and resource mapping will be undertaken.

The project will then engage relevant stakeholders, including growers, peak industry bodies and state food authorities and will use multiple methods to gather information, such as focus groups, physical surveys, and social media groups. The research information will be distilled into key themes, insights, and recommendations.

The recommendations and outputs, including sample materials for outreach, will be tested with key stakeholders at a validation workshop in early-mid June and then the final report will be presented by the end of June 2022.