It is essential that all role players develop a proper understanding of food safety requirements applicable to the export value chain. Food Business Operators (FBOs) should ensure they are registered with the relevant authorities, where after they need to obtain the required food safety certification.
To guarantee food safety for importing countries, a notice was passed outlining the standards of food hygiene and safety of agricultural products intended for export (Notice NoR707 of 13 May 2005). This formed part of the Agricultural Products Standard Act, 1990 (Act 119, 1990).
All food business operators (FBO’s) now act in accordance with this Standard. This means that FBOs will ensure that all stages of product handling, from production to export, are carried out in a safe and hygienic way.
The PPECB ensures that FBOs comply with the standards regarding food hygiene and food safety of regulated agricultural food products intended for export. The PPECB fulfils this role by conducting Statutory Food Safety Audits nationally. These audits focus on worker hygiene, use of plant protection products and traceability together with good agricultural practices. Following a successful food safety audit a food safety compliance certificate, referred to as the South African Good Agricultural Practices (SA GAP), is issued to the FBO. Should a FBO have one of the following commercial food safety certificates they are currently exempt from SA GAP certification: Global G.A.P., Tesco, Natures Choice, HACCP, BRC, IFS and ISO 22000:2005. Oversight is however maintained by conducting unannounced audits on facilities with such commercial certifications.