Fields of activity
Guide Self Checking G014
The Guide on Self Checking for traders and processors of fruit, vegetables and potatoes is managed by FVPhouse, the umbrella association of Belgapom (potato trade and processing), Vegebe (trade and processing of industrial vegetables) and Fresh Trade Belgium. The Guide has been elaborated with support of Ghent University and has been officially approved by the Belgian Food Safety Agency. The document is a reference for official checks on food safety and quality.
The Guide is regularly updated, version 5 will be published in the course of 2018.
A benchmark between Self Checking and IFS, BRC, HACCP, ISO 22000, Comeos Food for SME, IFS & BRC Logistic allows combined audits.
Operators with a validated self checking system obtain a bonus of 75% on their annual fee for the Federal Food Safety Agency. A validated system is obligatory for exports to specific markets such as Japan, Russia, Canada, Vietnam and Brazil.
Trainings and seminars
Plant protection products
In 2017 seminars were organized on monitoring schemes, sampling, analysis and private standards. In 2018 FVPhouse and its associations continue to work on the subject. We follow the debate on opportunities and limits of 'residue free', 'integrated pest management', 'organice' .. Members are kept informed on new initiatives.
European phytosanitary policy
The European Union focusses more and more on prevention and risk based measures. For importers, the general obligation of the phytosanitary certificate in 2019 can impact the logistic process. Imports of plant products without phytosanitary certificates will become the exception. Fresh Trade Belgium strives for a good cooperation with the Food Safety Agency to organize the necessary checks and inspections as smoothly as possible. Members are kept up-to-date.
At a regular basis, FVPhouse organizes trainings on Self-Checking for traders and processors of fruit, vegetables and potatoes. New trainings are planned after the official approval of version 5 of the Guide G014 (course of 2018).
Exports to third countries
After the Russian embargo the Ministery of Foreign Affairs organized a task force aiming to support and develop exports of Belgian agrofood. Representatives of the food business, the Federal Food Safety Agency, customs, the promotion services, the Ministeries of Agriculture and Foreing Affaires,.. define priorities, search synergies, prepare trade missions and State visits. FVPhouse participates at the task force activities.
Together with Hellemans Consultancy, Fresh Trade Belgium supports its members to conclude correct and beneficial energy contracts. Several members concluded such contracts and experience the benefice. Members get regularly the opportunity to affiliate and are updated on the results.
Fresh Trade Belgium is member of the sector group fruit and vegetables of Vlam (Flemish Promotion Board). In 2018 exporters participate at Vlam initiatives at Fruit Logistica Berlin, CPMA, Fresh Produce India, World Food Moscow, Fruit Attraction Madrid, PMA. In the course of 2018 promotion campaigns are planned in India (apples/ pears), Canada (leek, bell pepper, endives), Brazil (pears), China (pears) and Germany (pears).
After the sector passport on sustainability for traders of fruit, vegetables and potatoes (2015), Fresh Trade Belgium, Vegebe and Belgapom launch a new project in 2018: 'Together towards a circular and solidary agrofood chain in the sector of fruit, vegetables and potatoes'.
The existing sector passport will be updated and linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. A sector strategy on sustainability will be developed, goals will be identified and 15 pioneering companies will make the translation to their own company context. Subjects to work on are f.i. prevention of food loss and food waste, sustainable water use, sustainable production and consumption methods and the contribution to well being of society. The project runs till February 2019 with the support of the Flemish Community.
Young FVPhouse offers a meeting platform for the young generation in the management of the fruit and vegetable business. Regular activities are planned. Visits took place to the port of Antwerp, Urban Crops Solutions in Waregem, TVH in Kruishoutem, the nuclear site in Doel, the distribution center of supermarket Delhaize in Zellik, the chocolate manufacturer Neuhaus in Vlezenbeek. In June 2018 Young FVPhouse will pay a visit to the European Parliament.
Advice and information for members on demand.