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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 12

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 12

31 Mar 2020

A new online platform is to be launched this week by the Fresh Produce Consortium as a means of ensuring that the fresh produce supply chain keeps moving across the UK.

On Your Doorstep has been set up to provide a free of charge service for suppliers of fresh produce in a move to connect them with customers in their local area.

“We desperately need to support the fresh produce supply chain and keep it moving during these challenging times,” said FPC’s Chief Executive, Nigel Jenney. “We encourage local suppliers across the UK to sign up and take advantage of this valuable free service where we can connect them with local customers.”

On Your Doorstep has received huge support from the industry already and the platform is being populated with suppliers in each region of the UK, ready for its nationwide launch this week.

If you’re a fresh produce supplier and would like to register your business at On Your Doorstep for free, go to https://www.onyourdoorstep.sho... and simply enter your details in the ‘Become a Supplier’ section.

SWAP - The Spare Worker Availability Portal

SWAP is a free tool which allows organisations to post spare and available workers and be contacted by GLAA licensed ALP (Association of Labour Providers) labour providers who have work for them so that businesses needing extra staff can find the workers they need.

ALP members will contact posting organisations directly to arrange work for spare workers, meaning you can be confident that your people will be treated properly and fairly.

If you have spare workers, whether for days, weeks or indefinitely – please register to post brief details - CLICK here.

GLAA licensed ALP labour provider members who need workers – log in CLICK here and click on the SWAP tab to view the types and numbers of workers available and who to contact.

For more information, please contact info@labourproviders.org.uk or 01276 509306.

Defra easements

We are seeking urgent clarification on some aspects which have been communicated to us following our lobbying and will update you as soon as we can.

EU official controls easements

The European Commission has published an Implementing Regulation 2020/466 introducing easements on the official controls. This includes ‘electronically submitted documents may exceptionally be accepted for completing checks if the person responsible commits to provide the original as soon as possible. Physical meetings with operators may be replaced by contacts using available means of communication.

The measure is initially limited to two months and will be reviewed in the light of experience with its application. Member States that wish to use the measure have to inform the Commission and the other Member States.’

We are seeking urgent confirmation from Defra and the Food Standards Agency with regard to the UK’s position.

EU customs easements

We are still waiting for information on customs easements from HMRC however, the European Commission has published some guidance on customs related issues. CLICK here for this guidance.

Certification Bodies and Audits - update

GFSI has provided an update on temporary measures. GFSI has highlighted the importance of consistent and collective action and confirms that eleven1 certification programme owners (CPOs) that have GFSI-recognised programmes have fully aligned to the GFSI position as of 27 March 2020, amending any outstanding differences with the GFSI position.

GFSI trusts that this has been widely communicated to respective stakeholder groups, including certification bodies and sites that are in receipt of GFSI certificates. CLICK here for the update and here for the latest GFSI position.

GFSI notes that the International Featured Standard (IFS) recovery plan is not endorsed by GFSI as GFSI does not currently recognise the use of non-standard audits. For the latest update from IFS CLICK here.

Sedex has produced guidance for members – CLICK here. This covers information on the current as well as classification of coronavirus as an ‘exceptional circumstance’. The guidance explains how ETI Base code Subclause 6.5 covering working hours may be invoked and which conditions must be met. For questions, please contact SMETAaudit@sedexglobal.com

If you have any issues and queries please contact us.