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Posts tagged ‘University of Sydney’

Dr Robyn McConchie’s Report of Day 2 at CPS Research Symposium, 27th June 2013

The CPS at the University of Davis has been very supportive of the initiatives in Australia to establish an affiliated Fresh Produce Safety Centre. Over the past year they have very generously shared their research outcomes, they have given presentations to our industry, and this year invited Australian researchers to apply for research grants to work collaboratively with US scientists on issues important for the Australian fruit and vegetable industry.

As part of the ongoing collaboration Dr Robyn McConchie from the University of Sydney was invited to take part in a panel session at the recent 2013 CPS Research Symposium held at Wegman’s Conference Centre in Rochester, NY State. Due to the increasing awareness and interest from the US industry, the Research Symposium was held over 2 days. To view a summary of Day 1 on Listeria and Composts please click here.

Click here to view the outcomes of projects from the second day on Water Quality for Irrigation and Postharvest Practices””Pathogen transference: Pre-harvest, harvest and Packaging.” And “Hot Topics.”

Check out who has pledged support for the Fresh Produce Safety Centre?

Thank you to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry for the great response and support for the establishment of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The FPSC in gaining momentum with over $125,000 in pledged funds!

These funds will be leveraged to apply for matched funding from the Australian government to develop the strategic plan of the Centre, the Constitution, the legal framework, the Board of Directors, and the R&D priorities as communicated to us by the fresh produce industry.  The Centre will administer the following activities in food safety that will benefit the entire fresh produce industry:

  • securing and managing research funds,
  • leveraging research funding,
  • managing the industry-driven research projects,
  • maintaining the website,
  • providing education, communication and information

Look who has pledged!

Report summarising the outcomes of 2012/13 of the FPS A&NZ

The FPS A&NZ have made available the final report summarising the outcomes from the project “A New Collaborative Paradigm for Fresh Produce Safety”. This project was funding by the University of Sydney and the Produce Marketing Association Australia and New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) with matched funding from the Australian Government, accessed through Horticulture Australia Limited.

You can download the report here and read about the outcomes of the many activities conducted in the year.

Brief Report: CPS Research Symposium Key Messages, part 1.

Brief Report, CPS Research Symposium 26 and 27th June 2013 ,Wegman’s Conference Centre Rochester, NY State.
The CPS at the University of Davis has been very supportive of the initiatives in Australia to establish an affiliated Fresh Produce Safety Centre. Over the past year they have very generously shared their research outcomes, they have given presentations to our industry, and this year invited Australian researchers to apply for research grants to work collaboratively with US scientists on issues important for the Australian fruit and vegetable industry.

Read more

New Presentation: “Fresh Produce Safety: A Collaborative Model” Summary by Dr. Robyn McConchie

A presentation delivered at PMA Fresh Connections last month by Dr. Robyn McConchie provides a summary of the the outcomes achieved by FPS A&NZ.

Click here to view the presentation.

Over the past year the program has raised awareness of the risks involved in food safety through a number of avenues:

After this Survey, it was established that the industry did want and need a Fresh Produce Safety Centre. How it will operate, what its roles will be and where to from here can all be seen in the full presentation by Dr. McConchie.

Were you spotted at the Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections, 2013?

Fresh Produce Safety Australia and New Zealand (FPS A&NZ) were proud to join several key organisations to  host the first-ever Food Safety Hub, at PMA Fresh Connections Conference and Trade Show in Sydney last week. The Food Safety Hub was a one-stop-shop providing information for delegates wanting to know more about food safety for fresh produce. Were you spotted at the Food Safety Hub?

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With thanks to PMA Fresh Connections for providing us with these images.

FPS A&NZ wishes to thank the following key organisations for their participation in the Food Safety Hub:

  • AUSQUAL Pty Ltd. – A certification body accredited by JAS-ANZ, providing quality management and food safety (HACCP) management systems.
  • Freshcare – Australia’s on farm assurance program offering training, implementation, certification and support programs.
  • GS1 Australia – Administers the global GS1 System of supply chain standards in Australia across 22 industry sectors, including the launch of the new GS1 GoScan iPhone App providing consumers with authorised and trusted food product information, and the new GS1DataBar to improve management of fresh foods.
  • BSI incorporating NCSI – Offering businesses certification, risk management, business improvement and assurance.
  • SAI Global – Providing information services and solutions for managing risk, achieving compliance and driving business improvement.
  • SGS Australia – A global company, provide industry leading inspection, verification, testing and certification services.
  • TQA Australia –Key management consultants to agribusiness in Australia, providing advice in a range of disciplines including food safety and quality assurance, environmental assurance, occupational health and safety, strategic planning and professional development.

Fresh produce safety important to industry: recognising young professional with award.

The entire fruit and vegetable industry shares the responsibility of providing customers with healthy and safe food and recent young professional award demonstrates the importance fresh produce safety has in the industry.

The Australian Institute for Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) awarded the 2013 Young Professional in Agricultural Industry Award to Erika Watson, Fresh Produce Safety Project Officer at the University of Sydney. 

In this role, Erika has been working towards the establishment a Fresh Produce Safety Centre, which will be dedicated to improving food safety for the fresh fruit and vegetable industries.

FPS A&NZ is a collaborative project funded by PMA A-NZ and the University of Sydney with matched funds from the government through HAL, and has been maintaining momentum towards this goal.

Outcomes have included a national forum with guest speakers from The Center for Produce Safety, UC Davis and PMA US, outreach activities such as the launch of the FPS A&NZ website, the monthly newsletter, an industry survey, and presentations at the Freshcare workshop, identifying research priorities and a call for research proposals and finally the inaugural Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections where delegates can find out more about the proposed Fresh Produce Safety Centre.

To read the full story about Erika and the AIAST award, click here.

SURVEY RESULTS: Does the Industry need a Fresh Produce Safety Centre?

A primary objective for FPS A&NZ was to scope out the feasibility for a dedicated body to identify research needs and provide appropriate food safety solutions for the Australian fresh produce Industry.

FPS A&NZ has made strong progress towards this objective and it was decided to survey the industry to determine the level of support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The survey was sent to the entire list of individuals who have registered to receive regular newsletters from FPS A&NZ, representing a large range of sectors in the fresh produce industry.

The survey contained questions aimed at gauging  industry’s in-principle support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre; whether the University of Sydney was an appropriate ‘base’ for the Centre; what should be the overarching role of the Centre; and what were the priorities for food safety research.

From the responses, there was overwhelming support, in principle, for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre (98%) and for it to be “housed” at the University of Sydney (95%).

The survey also revealed that the role of the proposed Centre was to call and manage research in food safety and importantly to provide industry wide education and information and news on fresh produce safety, while representing the industry on regulatory matters was the most unpopular role for the Centre.  Results like this provide information that will assist in ensuring that the roles of other organisations will not be duplicated.

Research priorites needed to address the gaps in knowledge in food safety covers a wide variety of areas, but the top three topics as chosen by the respondents were Microbial contamination on-farm followed by topics Pathogens in the postharvest supply chain and Water – Postharvest.

The survey unequivocally indicated that there is widespread support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre for the whole fresh fruit and vegetable industries that will identify and conduct industry-driven research projects and provide valuable information, education and outreach on all aspects of fresh produce safety.

Download the full survey report here.

Third FPSANZ monthly newsletter out now!

The third edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!

In this edition:

  • Introducing the FPS A&NZ Technical Committee
  • FPS A&NZ hosting Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections!
  • What happened at the Freshcare Workshop? Find out from the team.
  • “What’s new in Food Safety for you?” Presentation available.

…and more!

Click here to check out the newsletter.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in the Fresh Produce Safety community by signing up for the monthly newsletter.

“Whats new in food safety for you?” presentation now available.

At the recent Freshcare Workshop 11-12 April 2013, Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (USyd) delivered a presentation on "Whats new in Food Safety for you?"

The presentation was based on information provided by Dr Bob Whitaker (PMA) and Ms Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli (CPS) and summarises some of the food safety research made available at the Center for Produce Safety 2012 Research Symposium.

Read more