Establish harvesting operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Horticulture
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 31 Jan 2019


This standard is for those who establish harvesting operations.  This will cover setting up harvesting operations and confirming that activities are carried out to meet specifications. You will need a considerable level of knowledge of production requirements, harvesting methods, resource constraints and crop conditions.

This standard covers the co-ordination of your own workload; in some instances it may involve co-ordinating the work of teams.

Harvesting may be carried out manually or mechanically. Harvesting methods will depend on the type of crop involved and the customer or market requirements.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. assess the risks associated with the site and the harvesting operations 2. identify harvesting methods and processes which maximise harvesting and meet the production specifications 3. establish the harvesting operations to meet the production specifications and harvesting constraints 4. confirm that the working methods and plan for harvesting are established and clearly communicated with all those involved with harvesting operations 5. confirm that the crop is in a condition ready for harvesting in accordance with production specifications 6. where the condition of the crop is not suitable for harvesting take the appropriate action 7. identify and establish the availability of resources required for harvesting operations 8. process waste safely in accordance with relevant legal and organisational requirements 9. confirm that hygiene and biosecurity are maintained in accordance with organisational practices 10. confirm that suitable clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn 11. check that equipment is used and maintained safely and correctly 12. confirm that the harvested product is handled in a way which maintains product quality and minimises damage 13. monitor harvesting operations and make any necessary adjustments to improve the process or maintain the quality of the product 14. check that relevant environmental and health and safety policies and risk assessment requirements are implemented across your area of responsibility 15. confirm that records are completed in line with specifications

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. how to identify hazards, assess risks and interpret risk assessments when establishing the harvesting operations 2. the stages of plant development 3. how to recognise when a crop meets the specifications 4. actions to take when the crop is not ready for harvesting 5. methods of harvesting appropriate to the crops and customer requirements 6. the importance of confirming that the harvesting operations are completed in accordance with specifications 7. methods of establishing and implementing measures to maintain hygiene and biosecurity and the reasons why this is important 8. methods for the recycling or disposal of waste created during harvesting 9. how to determine the resources required to carry out harvesting operations 10. the types of tools and equipment required for harvesting and how to prepare, use and maintain these safely and correctly 11. the adjustments to harvesting operations which may be required 12. how to maintain the quality of the harvested product and minimise damage 13. problems that may arise during harvesting and how these may be resolved 14. actions to take in the event of the crop product failing to meet specifications 15. the importance of following relevant environmental and ecological best practice to help minimise the impact of your work on the environment 16. the records to be kept and their significance 17. your responsibilities under relevant health and safety legislation and codes of practice 


A. identify the following resources when establish harvesting operations:

  1. human 

  2. financial 

  3. material 

  4. equipment

B. ensure plans achieve the best balance between production requirements and constraints on the harvesting operations including:

  1. environmental conditions

  2. resource difficulties

  3. crop condition

  4. health and safety issues

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Instructions: verbal or written.

* *

Specifications: drawings, schedules, method statements, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), manufacturers' guidelines, customer requirements, organisational policies.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Fruit and Vegetable Production Worker, Nursery Worker

SOC Code



crops; harvest; fruit; vegetables