Increasing the awareness of fresh produce safety is ongoing
The New South Wales parliamentary Inquiry into the Management of Domestic Wastewater suggests there had been either a "negligent disregard" for human health or a lack of awareness about the dangers of using raw sewage.
The final report found that untreated effluent is being used on some farms and market gardens as a form of fertiliser and that a small number of farmers deliberately use waste on their crops, additionally it also suggests that many sewage systems on small farms are failing.
Camden MP Chris Patterson, who chaired the inquiry, said most farmers are doing the right thing.
"That would be very minimal if that is occurring," he said.
"It did find out there's a need for greater education amongst market gardens potentially in non-English backgrounds."
To increase the awareness of fresh produce safety, FPS A&NZ is looking for support to provide a coordinated approach to research and outreach for industry-identified fresh produce safety issues and challenges in Australia and New Zealand.
This will be a 'go-to' source for all information and news related to food safety and act as an important interface for information between regulatory bodies and the industry at all parts of the value chain.
The industry has come a long way to bring about greater collaboration on the critical issue of food safety in the fresh produce industry, however work in this area must be ongoing to ensure the health and safety of the consumer and to build on the strengths of the fresh produce industry.