Establish post-harvest activities

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


This standard is for those who establish post-harvest activities to prepare a harvested crop for transfer to customer or storage. It includes activities such as selection, cleaning, drying, pre-storage treatments, grading, quality control, packing and labelling and storage where required. The types of preparation activities will depend on the crop involved and the production specifications.

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

This is relevant to individuals who have significant personal responsibility in carrying out these activities.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. assess the risks associated with the site and post-harvest activities 2. check that the work methods for post-harvest activities are established and clearly communicated with all those involved in, or affected by, your work 3. select suitable post-harvest activities in accordance with production specifications 4. identify and establish the availability of resources required to carry out the post-harvest activities 5. confirm that suitable clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn 6. check that equipment is used and maintained in a safe, clean and correct condition throughout 7. confirm that hygiene and biosecurity are maintained in accordance with organisational practices 8. identify harvested crops that do not meet specifications and take action when required 9. check that the harvested crop is handled in a way which maintains product quality and prevents damage 10. confirm that post-harvesting activities are established and carried out in line with specifications 11. confirm that quality assurance requirements are met 12. identify where the crop requires storage prior to dispatch and check that this is carried out in accordance with production specifications 13. process waste safely and correctly in accordance with relevant legal and organisational requirements 14. confirm that records are completed as required by relevant legislation and the organisation 15. carry out all work in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements, codes of practice and organisational policies

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. how to identify hazards, assess risks and interpret risk assessments when establishing post-harvest activities 2. suitable post-harvest activities for the crop to meet production specifications 3. the resources required to carry out the establishment of post-harvest activities 4. the types of clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for the activity 5. the tools and equipment required for establishing post-harvest activities and how to prepare, use and maintain these safely and correctly 6. quality assurance requirements in relation to the harvested crop 7. how to identify harvested crops that do not meet specifications and the action to take when required 8. methods of establishing and implementing measures to maintain hygiene and biosecurity and the reasons why this is important 9. suitable methods of storing produce prior to dispatch 10. suitable methods for the recycling or disposal of waste created by the post-harvest activities 11. the importance of maintaining communication with those involved in, or affected by, your work and how this should be done 12. the records that need to be kept and the importance of completing them 13. the importance of following relevant environmental and ecological best practice to help minimise the impact of your work on the environment 14. your responsibilities under relevant health and safety legislation, codes of practice and organisational policy


A.       identify and establish the availability of the following resources to complete post-harvest activities:

  1. human  
  2. financial
  3. material
  4. equipment

B.       ensure the following post-harvest preparation methods are carried out:

  1. handling
  2. grading
  3. cleaning
  4. drying
  5. packing or labelling

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Instructions: verbal or written.

Post-harvest activities:

  • selection
  • grading
  • trimming
  • packing/containering
  • labelling
  • cleaning
  • drying
  • pre-storage treatments
  • quality control

Prepare harvested crops for:

  • immediate transfer to customer
  • short-term storage
  • long-term storage

Specifications: drawings, schedules, method statements, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), manufacturers' guidelines, 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, Packer

SOC Code



crops; grading; trimming; packing; washing; drying