The market research conducted in the Quality Chooser project highlighted a number of specific problems.
· There is a high level of ignorance, doubt and uncertainty about food safety and quality . It must be said that food safety is both fundamental and critical in all quality systems, even those complex and internationally certified systems.
· This is a very complex topic, and information provided must cope with complacency, limited literacy , numeracy and technical knowledge.
· Policy is in a state of flux with authorities reluctant to give prescriptive guidelines and industry demanding a clear statement of requirements.
· There is a wealth of relevant information available from overseas sources which is not reaching the industry.
The needs addressed by this proposal are:
(1) Access to data on which to base food safety plans. Food safety plans will be required by all food producers. The VFIF project will generate information on this subject needed by all industry sectors. Producers will still require detailed technical knowledge on which to plan improve and benchmark their systems.
(2) Current awareness service on global trends in HACCP policy. Seafood is traded on a global market. FPA is already being required of exporters. Overseas authorities are increasing the surveillance and enforcement on imports, particularly at the level of point of entry. Changes in policy will be noted, and clients will be notified.
(3) Negotiation of second party QA requirements or vendor supplier programmes. A number of major corporate buyers of seafood, including supermarket and hotel chains, have shown interest in developing QA schemes for their suppliers. Both suppliers and their customers can benefit from access to a body of accurate, relevant data on which to base their negotiations.
(4) Information to assist in adoption of internationally recognised QA systems and continuous improvement programmes. References on implementation, auditing, and system review.
In order to support national uniform food safety legislation and quality assurance initiatives, a collection of information has been established at the Centre for Food Technology in Brisbane. Sources include textbooks acquired using the DPI purchasing system and catalogued within the Centre’s library, and a collection of papers, reports etc. acquired through personal networking and through various literature sources.
This collection has been indexed within the framework of the normal bibliographic database used by AUSEAS.