Australian supermarket giant Coles has agreed to new quality assurance standards which means that pork producers will save time and administration.
Up until now, Australian pork producers supplying Coles have had to meet Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ) requirements plus Coles’ own sow-stall free certification. The Coles certification was free, but involved additional paperwork.
Following eight months of consultation between Coles, Australian Pork Limited (APL) and Coles’ suppliers, a supplementary set of customer specifications for producers supplying pork to Coles have been agreed as an extra Module of the APIQ standards. Producers will transition to the new program over the next 12 months.
Pork producers involved in the APIQ module have welcomed the change, stating they were pleased to be involved with Coles – first in the developing, then integrating, the enhanced Coles specifications into the APIQ program.
Producers have indicated it as win-win all round as the farms avoided costly additional audits by adding to current external audits. The process also allowed producers to better integrate the Coles standards into their APIQ welfare assurance processes that occurs every day with their animals, Andrew Spencer, CEO of APL said.
Coles has stocked only sow-stall free Coles Brand fresh pork, ham and bacon products to the Coles standard for both domestic and imported pork since January 2013.
Coles Chief Operating Officer, John Durkan said the latest move to streamline certification requirements for pork producers was a sensible step following the move to sow-stall free pork production.
The APIQ Standards Manual is available under the information tab on the APIQ website at www.apiq.com.au.