“Best of Kaohsiung” is a government regulated brand issued only to certified farmers who have filed completion of the following:
- TAFT (Taiwan Agricultural and Food Traceability System),
- GAP (Good Agricultural Practice),
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points),
- ISO 22000 (Intl Standards Food Safety Management).
The bearer of brand “Best of Kaohsiung” means the produce is quality guaranteed in the exotic fruits island country, Taiwan.
With the increasing awareness of food safety, consumers have put more and more emphasis on food origin and food safety. Consumers also purchase agricultural products from internet based cyber stores. This awareness and cyber purchasing have trickled down to the Council of Agriculture (COA) and propelled them to develop a series of tactical policies and marketing campaigns so that the agricultural industry and argi-businesses can protect consumers and promote long term sustainability.
The COA has launched "Traceable Agricultural Product" (TAP) system since 2007. This system regulates agricultural manufacturers to conform to the codes of Taiwan's Good Agriculture Practices and manage risks associated with their operation.
Under this system, farmers, and the supplies are encouraged to leverage eco-friendly methods for their production and produce safe products which can be easily traced back. Especially for the traditional or legacy farmers, special attention and efforts are required to assist them to transform their operation in order to survive the new patern of commerce.
Data Source: Coucil of Agriculture, http://ap.fftc.agnet.org
Good agricultural practice (GAP) are specific methods which, when applied to agriculture, create food for consumers or further processing that is safe and wholesome. While there are numerous competing definitions of what methods constitute good agricultural practice there are several broadly accepted schemes that producers can adhere to.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) uses GAP as a collection of principles to apply for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food and non-food agricultural products, while taking into account economical, social and environmental sustainability.
GAPs may be applied to a wide range of farming systems and at different scales. They are applied through sustainable agricultural methods, Economically and efficiently produce sufficient (food security), safe (food safety) and nutritious food (food quality).
GAPs require maintaining a common database on integrated production techniques for each of the major agro-ecological area (see ecoregion), thus to collect, analyze and disseminate information of good practices in relevant geographical contexts.
Data Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, http://www.fao.org/
ISO 22000 specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves the following elements: 1) Interactive communication, 2) System management, 3) Prerequisite programs, 4) HACCP principles.
Communication along the food chain is essential to ensure that all relevant food safety hazards are identified and adequately controlled at each step within the food chain. This implies communication between organizations both upstream and downstream in the food chain. Communication with customers and suppliers about identified hazards and control measures will assist in clarifying customer and supplier requirements.
ISO 22000 integrates the principles of the HACCP system and application steps developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. By means of auditable requirements, it combines the HACCP plan with prerequisite programmes. ISO 22000 requires that all hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur in the food chain, including hazards that may be associated with the type of process and facilities used, are identified and assessed. Thus it provides the means to determine and document why certain identified hazards need to be controlled by a particular organization and why others need not. ISO 22000 has been aligned with ISO 9001 in order to enhance the compatibility of the two standards.
Data Source: SGS
HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level. In this manner, HACCP is referred as the prevention of hazards rather than finished product inspection. The HACCP system can be used at all stages of a food chain, from food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc.
The seven principles are of the following:
- Conduct a hazard analysis
- Identify critical control points
- Establish critical limits for each critical control point
- Establish critical control point monitoring requirements
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended
- stablish record keeping procedures
Implementation involves monitoring, verifying and validating of the daily work that is compliant with regulatory requirements in all stages all the time.
Data Source: Food Safety Enhancement Program, www.inspection.gc.ca