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 sustainable manner. The Bord Bia Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme (SHAS) has been developed to provide certified members with a means to prove to customers that they are meeting these demands. The requirements of the SHAS are based on current legislation, relevant industry guidelines, international standards and established best practice.
The SHAS was developed with representatives and stakeholders of the Horticultural Industry along with technical experts. The Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme is operated in accordance with ISO17065 and is built upon Bord Bia’s pre-existing Quality Assurance infrastructure, which has been in place for over twenty years.
Producers who participate in the scheme must abide by the requirements of the SHAS covering issues like:
- Food safety
- Product Quality
- Environmental Protection
- Staff Welfare
- Resource Efficiency
- Social Sustainability
Compliance is determined by a detailed farm audit. These audits are completed at a minimum every 18 months, against all SHAS requirements by independent auditors contracted by Bord Bia. Only those Producers who have proven through audit to meet the requirements of the Horticultural scheme are entitled to use 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. Furthermore Producers who are audited against the new Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme are actively taking part in the Origin Green Sustainability Programme. Certification to the SHAS means products carrying the Bord Bia logo not only meet the highest levels of safety and quality, but have been produced on a farm which is embracing sustainable practices.
As part of the rollout of the Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme (SHAS), a dedicated online resource has been created for Producers. This supports members offering access to scheme information and a range of online tools to assist them in achieving certification. Producers that wish to attend workshops or Seminars on the SHAS are asked to contact Anne Keogh by email Anne.Keogh@bordbia.ie or by phone 01 614 2271 to register their interest.
Work is progressing on the development of SHAS modules to cover Ornamental ProducersDistributors, and Prepared Fruit and Vegetable Processors. It is hoped that many of these will be introduced in 2018.
If you would like more information on the SHAS, please email Andrew Mahon on - Andrew.Mahon@BordBia.ie