New tool aims to help improve WA’s seafood industry cold food handling performance

Western Australian seafood businesses are being offered an opportunity to secure three months complimentary access to a unique benchmarking tool designed to enable all players in a cold chain, regardless of their size, to be measured against world best practice food handling for human consumption.

Developed by the Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) in collaboration with AusIndustry, the Cold Chain Benchmarking tool was launched last week at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s ‘Turning the Dial’ event.

The benchmarking tool is Australia’s first program aimed at helping all Australian companies working at all levels of the cold chain to be benchmarked against best practice and compliance.

Increased, training, knowledge transfer and awareness raising of cold chains will assist in increasing efficiency across the supply chain and also in reducing Australia’s $36.6 billion a year waste food bill. Other benefits would be a reduction in the wastage of resources including land, water, energy and fuel.

The tool has been pilot-tested through the ‘Cold Chain Optimisation Project’ with encouraging results.

The pilot study, which included 10 WA food and beverage businesses, was acclaimed by AusIndustry as one of the best tools yet devised and heralded as one of the most effective means to achieve cold chain improvement at a national level.

AFCCC chairman Mark Mitchell said the benchmarking tool delivered a great deal more than a simple report on a company’s status as a cold chain participant.

“After completing the benchmarking tool, the results will trigger a referral to a wide range of resources, including training, scientific studies on food handling and cold chain food handling procedures, as well as checklists. The materials will help companies improve their cold chain footprint.”

“Everybody wins with this program. By participating, every business will be creating a valuable, long-term resource that can only lead to continuing improvement in the way food for human consumption is handled,” Mark added.

Interested WA seafood businesses are requested to contact WAFIC Fishing Operations Adviser, Marshall Thompson for the username and password to have access to this innovative tool. Marshall can be reached at [email protected] or 9432 7701.

Pictured (LtoR) at the WAFIC office last week are Adam Wade, Bega Cheese; Carmel Lyttleton, DPIRD; Marshall Thompson, WA Fishing Industry Council; Mark Mitchell, Australian Food Cold Chain Council; Terry Burnage, DPIRD; Brett Henderson and Caitriona Callaghan from AusIndustry’s Entrepreneur’s program.