B-QUAL Australia Pty Limited has been established by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council as an independently developed and audited food safety program. Its purpose is to accredit and have adopted a quality assurance program for greater than 90% of the production of the Australian honeybee industry. The project will develop accreditation and train industry participants in QA standards, organic standards and biosecurity as well as providing on ongoing third party audit system.
Additional information is available on the B-QUAL website – www.bqual.com.au – and in the following documents:
- Approved Supplier Handbook (PDF 452k)
- B-QUAL Records Section (MS Word 400k)
- QA templates to assist beekeepers with the writing of a quality manual (MS Word 200k)
It is well recognised in the honey industry that quality standards in relation to food safety are demanded by customers, wholesalers and governments. Also, it is necessary to comply with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Safety Standard, which requires food businesses to develop a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) based food safety programme.
This project includes the production and delivery of:
- Industry Food Safety Plan
- ‘Honey Quality Standard’ booklet
- QA templates to assist beekeepers with the writing of a quality manual
- Training materials for industry facilitators
- Auditor training manual
- National ‘Auditor Training Workshops’
- Templates will also include criteria for the production of organic honey.
- Development of an national biosecurity plan (now available online as a 2 MB pdf document).
The project involves a three year program with the ultimate aim of ensuring that in excess of 90% of all honey produced in Australia is quality assured for both domestic and export customers. The specific requirements of the European Union (EU) for the export of honey and honey products (including organics) will be met. The requirements of FSANZ Food Safety Standard will also be developed. The adoption of these standards will enable continued market access both in Australia and overseas. The project will produce for industry to adopt, an auditable biosecurity plan. It is also proposed that the adoption of a national quality standard will form the basis of an ongoing programme to ensure industry best practice and ongoing industry training.
The development of an organic standard provides a new niche market for honey and honey products. The prices of products of organic farming are generally higher than the alternative products as many people are willing to pay a higher price because of environmental protection.
Product standards include all facets of production and services of the industry including honey, queen bees, pollination and honey packing. The resulting system provides a self-policing means of ensuring standards are kept at industry best practice and meet the domestic and international market demands.
Mr Barry Pobke – Chairman, PO Box 6, Cooke Plains, SA 5261
Mr Wayne Fuller – Director
Dr. Nicholas Chantler AM – Director
Mr Ian Zadow – Director