3.1 Traceability
A vital element in ensuring safety, quality and sanitary handling throughout the
processing and distribution chain is traceability. This means that a specific item
purchased by a consumer can, if necessary, be traced back through the transport
route to the processing plant and finally to the farm where the fruit, vegetable or
nuts were grown. This is a requirement not only in South Africa, but also in all major
foreign markets.
The purpose of traceability legislation, here and abroad, is to ensure that, in the
event of any danger alert regarding a product, the product can be identified back to
its source throughout the supply chain. It is therefore necessary for each company
in the supply chain to keep precise records about products that are received,
processed and despatched while the products are under its control.
The importance of precise record-keeping in any quality management system
cannot be over-estimated. Record-keeping is at the core of a traceability system
as well as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) compliance. Ideally,
export producers should implement a total quality management system that covers
traceability and HACCP as a continuous process.

Typically, a traceability system requires the following information:

In order for a specific item to be traced the unit sold needs to be identifiable. A batch
or lot number may be allocated to a traceable item, linking it to a specific process.
Typically, all products in a batch would be of the same type and have undergone the
same treatment at the same time.
Operating guidelines for traceability can be downloaded from: www.daff.gov.za >
Agricultural Production, Health and Food Safety branch > Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Food Safety and go to item 3 Audit policy and download “Operating guidelines for
traceability of regulated agricultural products of plant origin that are destined for export”.
Further information on traceability and other food safety issues can be obtained from
the International Standards Organisation (ISO), which has produced a ‘family’ of food
safety standards: see www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/management-standards/

3.2 Inspection and auditing
It is the responsibility of the exporter to request an inspection by the Perishable Products
Export Control Board (PPECB) before loading of the consignment and application of the
export certificate, before any consignment of the regulated processed product of plant
origin may be exported. PPECB, as the appointed assignee by DAFF, inspects the final
product to ensure that it conforms to export quality requirements, for which a typical
process will be as follows:
When the processed fruits/vegetables or groundnuts are in their final form, PPECB is
to be contacted for inspection of the product. Depending on DAFF regulations, samples
will either be inspected at the exporter’s premises or taken to an authorised laboratory
for further testing. The quantity samples per batch or weight are regulated by DAFF. The
inspection request application form and inspection facility requirements are available on
the PPECB website: www.ppecb.com.
Once the product has passed inspection, an export certificate is issued by
PPECB. Where a sample is analysed by the laboratory, a certificate of analysis is
issued, upon which the export certificate is also issued.
Upon receipt of the export certificate, the exporter can arrange for export customs
clearance and for shipment to the foreign country in accordance with the terms and
conditions of the contract of sale between the seller and the buyer.
A list of these regulated products is available on PPECB’s website: www.ppecb.com
Contact details:
Tel: +27 21 930 1134
Fax: +27 21 939 6868
E-mail: ho@ppecb.com

3.3 DAFF packaging and labelling requirements
The packaging and labelling requirements for processed fruits, vegetables and nuts
that are regulated for export (refer to the list under Chapter 2, sections 2.2 and 2.3)
are set out in the Export Standards and Requirements referred to for each type of
product. The requirements refer to containers (packaging) and marking (labelling)
and give specific details of what is required and acceptable.
In general, containers must be suitable for the product (e.g. suitable quality cans/
jars in good condition and lined where appropriate for the contents, or bags in the
case of nuts) and capable of being sealed to preserve the contents.
Marking (labelling) must, amongst other things, state the type of product, the grade,
name and contact details of the producer including the FBO code, and date of
manufacture. A true description of the contents must be given, and the net and
drained mass. Country of origin (South Africa) must be stated.
Exporters of regulated processed fruits, vegetables and nuts, should refer to the
specific standards for each type of product, as referred to in Chapter 2 (www.daff.
gov.za > Agricultural Production, Health and Food Safety branch > Food Safety
and Quality Assurance > Export Standards > Processed Products and www.daff.
gov.za > Agricultural Production, Health and Food Safety branch > Food Safety
and Quality Assurance > Export Standards > Agronomy).

3.4 Foreign market packaging and labelling requirements
It is possible that the foreign buyer may want the products to be exported from South
Africa in unmarked containers (cans/jars); in this case, the DAFF regulations require
all the necessary marking information to be included on the outer container and the
export certificate accompanying the consignment. More commonly, legal requirements
governing the labelling of food products in the foreign market may require information to
be expressed in a certain way or position on the label or in a certain language.
Approval to deviate shall be applied for with the executive officer of the Agricultural
Product Standards Act (Act No. 119 of 1990). This is an important element of foreign
market research and some indications are given in Chapter 5.

3.5 Packing for export
Packing for export refers to placing the individual cans, jars or packets of processed
product into cartons (also known as the shipper/outer carton), which are then palletised.
Note that the regulations governing exports of regulated processed fruits, vegetables
and nuts contain guidelines on palletising. It would be normal for palletised cargo to then
be containerised. To ensure the safe transit and handling of the products, the exporter
must mark each shipper and the packed pallet correctly and completely.
The symbols for package handling instructions are internationally standardised in ISO 780
and in DIN 55 402. These symbols must never be omitted as they are self-explanatory
and so overcome language problems in international transport operations. Handling
symbols can be applied using templates, stamps, embossing or branding.
Pallets used are either made of wood or plastic. All regulated wood packaging (e.g.
wooden pallets) must be debarked, treated with methyl bromide or heat treated and
bear the relevant International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) mark to indicate that
it complies with ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15).
The IPPC mark should be legible, permanent and not transferable, placed in a visible
location, preferably on at least two opposite sides of the pallet.