The Development Unit’s Certification programme project being run in collaboration with DAFF has gained significant momentum as of late.
The PPECB has conducted pre audits (audits that show the national and provincial department of agriculture where the gaps are for food safety certification on farms) in all provinces except Gauteng which will be done within the next two months. Follow up workshops focussing on food safety, SAGAP standards, responsible use of pesticides and good agricultural practices have also been run in all the provinces that have had pre audits. These workshops highlight to the farmers where their gaps were in terms of the pre audits as well as how to address those shortcomings. In addition we also assist the farmers with what their records need to look like for audit purposes and how to draw up the necessary procedures for audit success. Some photos of the farms are to be seen below, the farms are in the North West, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The PPECB really does go to all corners of the country which few people ever get to see.
Final certification audits will commence in the provinces who received the pre audits and training first (dependant on whether the farmers are harvesting at the time of scheduling the audits). Reports are also being made available to the provincial departments of agriculture where infrastructure shortcomings have been identified as a barrier to certification and those aspects will be dealt with by the provincial departments.
A new commercial client is the Cape Town Fresh Produce Market which has also approached the PPECB to assist them in training their staff and some market agents to comply with upcoming changes to the Agricultural Products Standards Act, No . 119 of 1990.