Fields of activity
Guide Self Checking G014
The Guide for Self Checking in trade and processing of fruit, vegetables and potatoes is managed by Belgapom (potato trade and processing) and Vegebe (trade and processing of industrial vegetables) Fresh Trade Belgium. The document has been elaborated together with the University of Ghent and has been officially approved by the Food Safety Agency. The Guide is a reference for official checks on food safety and quality.
The Guide is regularly updated, version 5 is presented for approval to the Federal Food Safety Agency and is expected to be punt online in Autumn 2017.
A benchmark between Self Checking and IFS, BRC, HACCP, ISO 22000, Comeos Food for SME, IFS & BRC Logistic allows operators to choose for combined audits.
Operators with a validated self checking system obtain a bonus of 75% on their annual fee of the Federal Food Safety Agency. At this moment, a validated system is obligatory for exports to Japan, Russia and Canada and it will become obligatory for new markets such as the United States (apples/ pears) and Brazil (pears).
Trainings and seminars
Seminar biocides and contaminants
In February 2016 FVPhouse organizes a seminar on biocides and contaminants (legislative framework, MRL and limits of action, official checks ...). On the agenda f.i. the question on chlorate and perchlorate. Exact date and invitation will be communicated when available.
New European phytosanitary policy
The Regulation on the new European phytosanitary regime has been published at the beginning of 2017 and will be implemented in the coming months and years. The European Union focusses more on prevention and measures that are based on risk analysis. An important element for the imports of third countries is the general obligation of the phytosanitary certificate. Imports of plant products without phytosanitary certificates will become the exception. The obligation will also impact the logistic processes. A good concertation with the authorities is important for a smooth implementation of the necessary checks and inspections. An info session will follow.
At a regular basis, FVPhouse organizes trainings on Self-Checking for traders and processors of fruit, vegetables and potatoes. Trainings consist of 5 sessions, they help operators to implement a self-checking system in their own company. After the official approval of version 5 new training sessions will be organized.
Exports third countries
In August 2014 Russia pronounced an imbargo against most European horticultural and agricultural produce.
Within the Federal Service of Foreign Affairs, a task force was created with representatives of the food sector, the Federal Agency for Food Safety and the regional promotion services Awex, FIT and Vlam. The Task force defines priorities, searches synergies, prepares trade missions and State visits.
Together with Hellemans Consultancy, Fresh Trade Belgium supports its members to conclude correct and beneficial energy contracts. Several members concluded such contracts in 2015 and already experienced the benefice. Members get regularly the opportunity to affiliate and are updated on the results.
Fresh Trade Belgium represents the export in the sector group fruit and vegetables of Vlam (Flemish Promotion Board). In 2017 exporters participate at Vlam initiatives on following exhibitions: Fruit Logistica Berlin, CPMA (Canada), Fresh Produce India (Mumbai), World Food Moscow, Fruit Attraction (Madrid) and WOP Dubai. Promotion activites are organized on the markets of Rungis, Lyon and Barcelona.
The sector passport sustainability for the trade and processing of fruit, vegetables and potatoes has been realized in the framework of an ESF project. The passport is an instrument for operators who want to work out their own sustainability report. It presents the most important challenges on economical and financial, social and ecological level and establishes the link to the corresponding GRI indicators (see also Global Reporting Initiative, www.globalreporting.org
Three pilot companies have already translated the sector passport to their own company based sustainability report and can inspire their colleagues in the fresh produce business:
- Boussier from Borgloon, www.boussier.be
- Nicolai Fruit from Sint-Truiden, www.nicolaifruit.be
- Van Laethem from Vlezenbeek, www.bellaroma.eu
Young FVPhouse offers a meeting platform for the young generation active in management of the fruit and vegetable business. In the autumn of 2016 Young FVPhouse visited the port of Antwerp, including a visit to the brand new port house. In April 2017 Young FVP enjoyed a much appreciated visit to the innovative company Urban Crops Solutions in Waregem.
Advice and information to members on demand.