Consumers today are concerned about food safety and traceability within the food chain. Food safety is therefore an essential element of all Bord Bia Quality assurance programmes. Quality has also become a critical issue in food production in recent times. Consumers and retailers alike now demand produce that has been grown, handled, packaged and transported to the highest standards of quality and hygiene, in a clean and environmentally friendly manner. The Bord Bia Specification for Horticulture Producers certification is operated in accordance with EN45011 requirements. EN 45011 is the standard for the European accreditation of bodies who are involved in certification.
The requirements of this Standard are based on established best practice as determined by technical, industry representatives and other experts. They are also based on current legislation, relevant industry guidelines and international standards.
The Bord Bia Horticulture Quality Assurance Scheme sets out the requirements for Best Practice in fruit and vegetable production, packing and processing.
Farmers who participate in the scheme must:
- Give a signed declaration.
- Agree to abide by a code of practice covering issues like:
- Cropping practices
- Quality and Hygiene Standards in relations to personnel and premises
- Cool chain facilities
- Crop protection products usage and storage
- Record keeping
- Maintaining appropriate documentation
- Implementing environmentally friendly practices
- Allow a detailed farm inspection first by a trained inspector and subsequently on a random basis as part of Bord Bia's overall audit of compliance with the requirements of the scheme.
Prepared Fruit & Vegetable Plants
The Bord Bia Quality Scheme for the Prepared Fruit and Vegetable industry describes the requirements for those involved in the preparation, packaging and delivery of pre-cut fruit and vegetables for human consumption. The requirements of this Standard are based on established best practice as determined by technical, industry and other experts. They are also based on current legislation, relevant industry guidelines and international standards. Member plants must meet standards set down in the Bord Bia Prepared Vegetable Standard.
Control of the scheme is by audit. The audits are carried out by independent auditors contracted by Bord Bia. Producers that meet the requirements of the quality assurance scheme are entitled to use the the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Mark on produce, packing and/or point of sale materials subject to the conditions which govern the use of the quality mark. Any use of the quality mark must be approved by Bord Bia in advance.