About Us

ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program
The ASEAN-Australia Economic Cooperation Program (AAECP) was established in 1974 to promote cooperation between Australia and ASEAN in areas of agreed regional development priority. The program, funded by Australia’s overseas aid agency, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), has evolved to keep pace with economic progress in South East Asia and the maturing nature of the ASEAN-Australia relationship. 

In August 2002 Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ASEAN committing A$45 million to the next phase, the ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP).

ASEAN – Australia Development Cooperation Program: Program Stream
The Program Stream is a A$19 million five-year initiative of AusAID and ASEAN and commenced in May 2003. It is one of three arms of the AADCP. The Program Stream aims to promote sustainable, economic and social development within the ASEAN region. It comprises ten projects which support ASEAN economic integration and competitiveness.

Quality Assurance Systems for ASEAN Fruit and Vegetables Project
The QASAFV Project is one of ten projects under the AADCP Program Stream. It is managed by RMIT International Pty Ltd, the Australian Implementing Partner (AIP), in association with the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland, who provide technical inputs in the ASEAN region.

The QASAFV Project is coordinated in partnership with ASEAN, through the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) Desk Officer, and the Project Coordinating Group (PCG). The PCG comprises the AIP, the ASEC Desk Officer, the Regional Focal Point, and ten representative focal points from all ASEAN member countries. 

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This project aims to strengthen information delivery systems supporting Quality Assurance (QA) systems development for ASEAN horticulture. It also aims to provide the basis for the design of an appropriate generic QA standard for fruit and vegetables in ASEAN. The project will look at ways to assist ASEAN countries by providing training on the specific postharvest and phytosanitary requirements of export markets. 

The work is expected to include collating and disseminating information on ASEAN and international standards for fruit and vegetables and helping ASEAN producers to understand and comply with the phytosanitary requirements of their target markets. 

The project team  will assist in the identification of quality and safety-related gaps in post-harvest handling procedures and ensure that the results of earlier research and development programs are readily accessible to local producers. 

The project is being implemented in two phases

Phase I (completed), comprised a three-month Inception Phase aimed at redesigning the project to be more up-to-date and more relevant to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Phase II, currently being implemented, is a 33-month Implementation Phase.

Other Projects

Introduction
There are clear economic and social benefits from developing horticultural quality assurance systems, and the harmonisation of standards. It is therefore not surprising that other projects in this area have been initiated. Some of these projects are outlined below.

If you know of any other projects that may be of interest to the QASVF project partners, please email the APHNet site administrator at: aphnet@rmit.edu.au

ASEAN-Australia Economic Co-operation Programme – Phase III (AAECP – III): Quality Assurance Systems for ASEAN Fruits (QASAF) Project – Fresh and Minimally Processed

This three-year project commenced in January 1997. Its goal was to enhance ASEAN stakeholders’ returns from selected tropical fruits through the development of postharvest handling and minimal processing systems. Some of the main outputs included: a quality management manual of durian (Brunei Darussalam); a series of posters advising how to reduce the deterioration of mangoes (Indonesia) and pineapples (Philippines); the development of means to lengthen the season for, and achieve more consistent quality of, dragon fruit (Vietnam); and research into the long-distance shipping of durian (Thailand). 

The above information was obtained from (Alexander and Peacock 2000). This reference and further information about this project and its outputs can be found on the ‘Quality Documents’ Page of this website.

International Portal on Food Safety, Animal & Plant Health 

This is a website that provides authorized and official information on food safety and animal and plant health. Information can be retrieved by using the search function or browsing via commodity, issue, geography and source. This website project was developed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in association with a range of interagency partners. The aim of this cooperative site is to: 

  1. Increase the transparency in sanitary and phytosanitary measures, 
  2. Increase the confidence of trading partners, enhancing international trade, and 
  3. Improve national laws and regulations relating to food safety and animal and plant health. 

Funding to date has been from FAO, United States Department of Agriculture and The Standards and Trade Development Facility

Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality and Safety of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

This project is part of the Prevention of Food Losses Project undertaken by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. This project seeks to aid developing nations by providing:

  1. A trainer’s manual for improving quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This manual covers topics such as how to maintain fruit and vegetable quality, ways of applying food safety principles to the fresh fruit and vegetable chain, and the importance of certification and other quality schemes.
  2. Workshops pertaining to quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. An online database containing materials under the following topic areas: hazards and quality issues in fresh fruit and vegetables, safety and quality assurance, food laws and regulations, standards and grades, an inventory of training materials and fresh fruit and vegetable quality and safety programmes
    (reference – http://www.fao.org/in-action/inpho/crop-compendium/fruits-vegetables/en/)

Reference

Alexander, G. I. and B. C. Peacock (2000). Quality assurance systems for ASEAN fruits (fresh and minimally processed). Quality assurance in agricultural produce, ACIAR Proceedings No. 100. Canberra, Australian Centre for International Research.