The QS quality scheme for fruit and vegetables stands for complete quality and origin assurance along the entire food chain - from farm to shop. Also companies of preparation and processing as well as logistics service providers can be certified according to QS criteria. The QS scheme currently has around 34,000 scheme participants for fruit and vegetables. These include more than 14,000 producers, almost 860 wholesalers, 38 preparation and processing companies, 386 logistics service providers and around 18,600 food retail stores.
QS commits all scheme participants in the fruit and vegetable sector to participate in QS residue monitoring. There, compliance with the maximum residue levels for pesticide residues and the use of permitted active substances are monitored. In case of exceedance, the company will be blocked. 77 QS approved laboratories from nine European countries carry out the analyses.
The availability of goods from certified companies is ensured by mutual audit approvals with international standard providers. Meanwhile, 37 % of the producers participating in the QS scheme and 34 % of the wholesalers come from abroad.
The reliability of quality assurance in the QS scheme is ensured by a three-stage control system. The first level is an in-plant self-assessment, the second level is the independent control of the companies by QS-approved certification bodies and their participation in monitoring programs and the third level is the permanent internal control system (SIKS), which includes the monitoring of the entire QS scheme and the approved certification bodies. Control measures, such as random inspections, tests for traceability and the support of audits by employees of the QS office ensure the integrity and confidence in the reliability of the QS scheme.
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Das war der ICOP 2018