Food Safety


Southern Produce is committed to ensuring that all produce supplied meets customer requirements and gazetted grade standards specified by appropriate industry groups. 

Our commitment to quality is demonstrated with development, implementation and management of a comprehensive quality and food safety management system that satisfies all customer and applicable international and domestic regulatory requirements.

Southern Produce has achieved certification to:

  • WQA
  • SQF 2000
  • BIOGRO Organic Standard
  • Coles

Assurance of quality and its continuous improvement requires the support of the entire Southern Produce Supply Chain. Quality is assured by our suppliers working in a systematic manner to eliminate defects, errors, and nonconformance through proper product and process design and implementation, and following formalised procedures and work instructions including internal audit and review processes.  Southern Produce is committed to working together with our suppliers and customers as a team dedicated to mutual help and achievement of our business and quality goals.

1. Quality Planning

The Southern Produce quality planning process includes understanding customer product and supply specifications, including specific supplier requirements in supply contracts, and ensuring customer needs and expectations are understood, met or exceeded. Quality planning is achieved through a combination of business planning, quality improvement plans, review of internal and supplier audits, and supplier education and training.

2. Quality System Review

The quality system is reviewed at least once each year by the management team to determine the effectiveness and suitability of the system to meet or exceed customer and product specifications.

3. Customer Management

Southern Produce is committed to delivery of product and services to customers that consistently meet their expectations. Customer complaints are accorded the highest priority and corrective action implemented in response to identified problems.  Southern Produce works with suppliers to overcome and minimise the impact of identified problems.

4. Supplier Process Controls

Pre-harvest, Packing and coolstorage process requirements are defined in industry best practice and Southern Produce supply specifications. Supply Chain processes are performed under controlled conditions, with documented instructions, established performance criteria, and with appropriate processes and equipment. Inspections and tests are used at critical control points from harvest to loadout to prevent the production and distribution of substandard product.

5. Supply Chain Handling, Storage, Packaging and Transport

Harvested fruit, packaging components, and packed products are handled and stored in a manner to prevent damage, deterioration, or contamination. The handling, storage, and delivery requirements are defined in supply specifications and specified for all material requiring special handling to ensure conformance to customer needs and to maintain product integrity.
Packaging is designed to protect product from damage or deterioration during storage and transportation. Certificates / letters of conformity verifying suitability of packaging for use (food safety compliance) are maintained.
All vehicles used for the transportation of raw materials (including packaging) to the suppliers, and the dispatch of packed product to the customer are subject to suplliers controls to ensure that they are maintained in good repair and in a hygienic condition.

6. Supplier Monitoring

Grower and Post Harvest (Packing and Coolstorage Facilities) suppliers quality systems and food safety controls are audited each supply season. The audits are used by Southern Produce to determine if the suppliers quality management and food safety system are effectively achieving Southern Produce quality objectives and to determine whether suppliers have adequate resources assigned to meet Southern Produce requirements.

Southern Produce audits focus on two specific areas: systems assuring food safety and systems assuring product quality and incorporate all supply chain activities (Growers, Packhouse Coolstore and offshore service suppliers). The focus is on ensuring that processes meet identified legal, quality and customer requirements. 

7. Residue Testing

Under the New Zealand Kiwifruit Industry Single Desk Marketing Structure all grower suppliers are part of the industry crop protection program. All kiwifruit spray diaries are audited by Zespri International. 25% of all growers are selected for random residue testing by Zespri and an additional 10% are selected for (Multi Screening) MRL testing. All growers who apply for a “Justified Approval” (request to Zespri International to use a product outside the Zespri Crop Protection Program) are also residue tested. Additionally Zespri International also “target” some growers for residue testing based upon historical results or “feedback” from industry sources.

All Avocado growers are individually residue tested as part of the Avocado Industry Crop protection program.

All Kiwiberry growers are individually residue tested as part of the New Zealand Kiwiberry Growers Association Crop Protection Programme.






Coles Supplier  |  2016 - 2017




AVOCO HACCP Certificate  |  2016 - 2017




wOOLWORTHS qUALITY aSSURANCE Certificate (spl)  |  2016








spl sqf Certificate |  2016 - 2017




SPL HACCP Certificate |  2016 - 2017