JAS-ANZ began working with the then Victorian Meat Authority (VMA) in 1997 to develop requirements for Conformity Assessment Bodies certifying to the Australian Meat Standards. The standards had been developed by the Agriculture and Resources Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ) as the basis for certifying establishments processing meat and meat products. The standards incorporated the CODEX Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, but also included quite specific requirements around process and facilities. These standards were later adopted by Standards Australia as Australian Standards, and are published as such to this day. Additional Victorian Standards are also included under the scheme.
The scheme was published in 2000 and has developed since to incorporate other certification standards and products. The VMA became PrimeSafe in 2003 with the expansion of its responsibilities to include seafood product safety.
The JAS-ANZ Food Safety Management Scheme (FSMS) supports PrimeSafe in it’s management of establishments’ compliance to the Victorian Meat Industry Act 1993, the Victorian Meat Industry Regulations 2015, the Seafood Safety Act 2003, and the Seafood Safety Regulations 2014 through accrediting the CABs that audit the compliance of meat establishments to the prescribed standards. PrimeSafe licenses the meat facilities and seafood businesses and the verification audits are conducted by the CABs. The benefits to PrimeSafe from this arrangement are:
- Allows PrimeSafe to set overall policy requirements or detailed technical requirements yet rely on the CABs to evaluate compliance;
- Concentration of valuable resources on policy and scheme management issues;
- Reduced personnel costs related to audit activities by removing the need for PrimeSafe to employ and train its own audit personnel; and
- The elimination of duplicate audits, as the CAB can also audit against customer requirements in an integrated audit.