Food safety & hygiene
Food safety and quality management is of critical importance to the Australian grain industry.
We are committed to providing consistent, quality products and services to meet our customer and regulatory requirements. All our facilities are ISO 22000:2005 accredited to meet the highest international standards of food safety management and all grain storage and handling employees undergo food safety and quality training.
Growers play a critical role in protecting the reputation of the Australian grain industry by following effective food safety and vehicle hygiene practices on farm and when carting grain to storage and handling facilities.
At Viterra, food safety and quality management is integrated into all of our activities and operations.
Managing chemical residues
At all times growers should adhere to:
- withholding periods
- label instructions
- application rates
- safe operating procedures
It is critical that only registered/approved chemicals are used on crops and any chemicals applied are appropriately declared when delivering grain.
Viterra monitors grain for chemical residues to ensure end-use markets are not affected. Government regulators may investigate incidents where grain is found to have chemical levels above Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs).
Growers can find out the current Australian MRLs by visiting the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website. International MRLs are set by various bodies and information on MRLs for overseas markets can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ website.
All equipment used for holding, transferring and carrying grain must be inspected and cleaned prior to use. Particular attention should be paid to augers, bins and harvesters that may not have been used for some time and therefore might contain traces of old or pickled grain, fertiliser (especially with the additive Flutriafol) or rodent control measures.
Growers and carriers have an obligation to cease loading on farm if contaminants are found.
Growers need to be aware that:
- if a contaminant is detected at classification the load will be declined.
- if a contaminant is detected whilst a load is discharging the grower will be financially liable for any contamination of stock in the cell being unloaded into, any stock replacement, cleaning and other associated costs. Viterra will, where possible, work with growers to mitigate losses and reduce the impact of the contamination on all parties.
Ensure any vehicle that is carrying grain meets the required cleanliness standards as per the Prior Load Matrix. Growers using carriers must ensure the carrier’s truck is clean before loading the grain as growers are accountable for the delivery of grain.
The Prior Load Matrix outlines the correct procedures for cleaning your vehicle to the acceptable standards, in line with what has previously been carried in that vehicle.
The matrix covers vehicles carting bulk grain (food), feed based products and dry bulk materials handled by Viterra.
Vehicles are required to be fit for purpose and presented clean upon arrival. Vehicles and tarpaulins that are not cleaned or free of contaminants will not be loaded.
It is mandatory to declare the last load for grower receivals. All other movement-types require the last three loads to be declared.
Growers should also refer to the full Viterra Road Vehicle Hygiene Requirements.