SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Assess the quality of plums for export 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
243854  Assess the quality of plums for export 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Secondary Agriculture: Processing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation Secondary Agriculture 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Describe the composition and structure of the plum exporting industry in South Africa.
  • Be conversant with the plum export terminology.
  • Comply with the legislative and logistical requirements for the exportation of plums.
  • Draw a representative sample of plums for quality assessment.
  • Conduct the external and internal examination of plums for quality assessment.
  • Inspect and verify the various components that ensure the maintenance of the cold chain.
  • Evaluate the overall suitability of a plum consignment for export. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are competent in Mathematical Literacy and Communication at NQF Level 4. 

    UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Outline the background and structure of the plum exporting industry. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Includes but is not limited to:
  • Origin of varieties, South African plum production areas, global competition, industry role players and their functions, export markets, export statistics, exporting chain, cultivation, harvesting and post harvest treatments, research and development: temperature regimes/protocols, packaging, handling, post harvest techniques. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The origin of the various plum varieties and the chief cultivars that have been produced from these are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The major plum production areas in South Africa are identified and the main cultivars that are grown in each area are listed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The extent of the global plum export industry, with regard to production levels and statistics are outlined and the countries that constitute South Africa's competition are detailed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The various components of the plum export chain are identified and the objectives of each are detailed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The role players in the plum export industry are listed and the function that they each perform is indicated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    A brief outline of the best practices for the cultivation, harvesting and post harvest treatment of plums are related and the ways in which the observance of these will enhance the achievement of export quality are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The positive contribution that ongoing research and development has on the viability and profitability of plum exports is described and the focus areas where constant improvement is being sought, are identified. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the definitions and applications of the terminology used in the plum export industry. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The range includes but is not limited to:
  • Reasons, ensure correct identification, application and interpretation of deviations. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The reasons why all role players and participants in the plum export industry should understand and use the specific terminology are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The definition and relevance of the general terminology that is used in the export industry is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    General terminology includes but is not limited to:
  • APS act (Agricultural Products Standards), PPECB act (Perishable Products Export Control Board Act), assessor, consignment, cosmetic, container, count, chemical residues, diameter, FBO (Food Business Operator), food safety, foreign matter, hazard, inspector, internal defects, pre- packed unit, suitable, traceability, SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures), MRL's (Maximum Residual Levels).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The definition and application of the terminology that is used to describe and determine the quality of plums is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Specific plum terminology includes but is not limited to:
  • Arthropoda, bladderiness, blemish, broken stone, bruise, decay, dirty fruit, dry crack, gel breakdown, injury, internal browning, plums, split stone, suberised indentation, visible split stone.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe the legislative and logistical requirements for the exportation of plums and the necessary processes to ensure compliance. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The requirements and processes include but are not limited to:
  • Legislative requirements, documentation prerequisites, food safety, facility inspection criteria, line observation, inspection of: cartons, containers, pallets, marking, industry processes and documentation, QMS (Quality Management System). 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The legislative requirements that must be met before an export inspection will be conducted, are indicated. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Legislative requirements include but are not limited to:
  • Service request, facilities inspection, registration with PPECB (Perishable Products Export Control Board), DOA (Department Of Agriculture), DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), dispensations, documentation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The logistics that have to be verified before an inspection may be conducted are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Logistics include but are not limited to: Documentation:
  • Notice of inspection, service request, consignment note.
  • General requirements: regulations and protocols, inspection fees, product presentation and identification.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The various food safety standards that must be adhered to and the procedures to ensure compliance to these are indicated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The requirements for cartons, containers and pallets, that are intended to house/transport plums and the procedures for their inspection, as per the regulations and SOPs are detailed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The necessity of providing the correct lighting and inspection environment for the quality determination of plums is explained and the facility requirements, as per SOPs are listed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The packing requirements for the exportation of plums, as per regulations and SOPs are indicated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The marking requirements that must be used on containers and consignments for the identification of export plums, as per the regulations are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The industry processes and documentation that are utilised in the exportation of plums, according to the relevant SOP's, are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Processes and documentation include but are not limited to:
  • Harvesting and handling methods, market requirements, protocols, post harvest treatment, SOP's, transport, pre-cooling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    The necessity and benefits of establishing and implementing a quality management system for plum exportation are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Necessity and benefits include but are not limited to:
  • Market requirements, client confidence, ensure traceability, quality assurance, food safety, performance audits.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Select a representative sample of plums for inspection. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The sampling range includes but is not limited to:
  • Aim of sampling, representative, validation of quality, principles of sampling, sampling methodology, SOP's (Standard Operating Procedure), sampling size/percentage, working sample - for external and internal examination, deviating sample, MRL sampling. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The aims and objectives of sampling and the importance of obtaining a representative sample from a plum consignment are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The principles of sampling and the reasons why these must be stringently applied when plum sampling is conducted, are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Principles include but are not limited to:
  • Random, predictable, selective, position.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The function and benefits of conducting a line observation before a plum sampling commences are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Function and benefits include but are not limited to:
  • Uniformity of apricot characteristics, grading procedures, packing procedures.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The plum sampling methodology and the criteria for examination of a consignment as per regulations or the company's SOPs are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The sampling size or percentage of a plum consignment that must be drawn for inspection, as per the regulations or the company's SOPs are detailed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The methods of drawing a representative sample of plums from a consignment are demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The procedures for conducting MRL sampling on plums are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The importance of identifying and including possible deviating specimens when conducting sampling is explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Determine the external quality of plums for compliance to export standards. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The external quality criteria include but are not limited to:
  • General appearance, shape, colour, diameter, ripeness/colour, malformation, hail marks, blemishes, rub marks, picking injuries/punctures, torn out stems, visible split stones, uniformity, foreign seeds, unspecified non conformities, tolerances, instruments, market needs, company SOP's. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The general appearance and shape of the various plum cultivars, as per the standards, are indicated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The methods to determine the ripeness of plums, as per the standards are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The importance of comparing and verifying the overall colouration of the plums to the appropriate colour charts for each cultivar is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The degree of uniformity of size and colouration that the various plum cultivars have to conform to, as per the standards are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The methods to determine the diameter and overall dimensions of export quality plums, as per the standards are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The various malformations that preclude plums from export acceptance are indicated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The effect that hail marks have on the acceptability of plums for export and the tolerances that are allowed, are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The various external deviations and the tolerances that are acceptable for the evaluation of a plum consignment are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    External deviations include but are not limited to:
  • Blemishes, rub marks, torn out stems, visible split stones, bruising, sunburn, arthropoda, decay, shrivelling, visible spray residue, skin cracks, bruising, sunburn, injuries.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    The unspecified factors/non conformities on the fruit that render the plums unsuitable for export are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    The instruments that are used to examine the external quality requirements of plums for compliance to the standards are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Colour charts, scale, grading rings, penetrometer, FDA(Fruit Density Apparatus), sharp knife.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 11 
    The reasons why a plum consignment that contains foreign matter may be rejected are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 12 
    Examples of special market requirements for plums, that are in addition to the standards, are explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Determine the internal quality of plums for compliance to export standards. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The internal quality criteria include but are not limited to:
  • Maturity/ Ripeness, cavities around stone, broken stones, internal damage, internal breakdown, serious cold damage, determine TSS (Total Soluble solids), internal defects, unspecified quality defects, instruments. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The methods for the testing the maturity/ripeness of the various plum cultivars are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The procedures for the conducting of a pressure test on plums is demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The procedures to ascertain whether the plums have broken stones are demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The procedures for determination of the TSS of plums, using a self compensating refractometer are demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The various internal defects that preclude the acceptance of a consignment of plums for export are listed and the specific signs that these exhibit are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Internal defects include but are not limited to:
  • Insect damage, internal breakdown, serious cold damage.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The instruments that are used for the examination of the internal components of plums are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Penetrometer, sharp knife, refractometer, FDA (Fruit Density Apparatus).
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The unspecified internal defects that render plums unsuitable for export are described. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 7 
    Monitor the cold chain regimens/protocols to maintain the condition of export plums. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The protocols and maintenance criteria include but are not limited to:
  • Climacteric characteristics of plums, physiological processes, need for refrigeration, recommended temperature regimes/protocols, consequences of non adherence, principles of airflow management, cartons for sufficient ventilation, types of ventilation, inland Loading procedures, Inland RRMT (Refrigerated Road Motor Transport) loading, shipping, voyage and discharge temperature management, verification of cold chain facilities, cold chain equipment. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The climacteric characteristics of plums are detailed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The post harvest physiological processes that plums undergo and the effects that refrigeration has on these processes is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The temperature regimes/protocols that are recommended for the transportation and storage of plums are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The consequences of not following the recommended temperature regimes/protocols are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The basic principles of airflow management, and their applicability to plums are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The necessity of utilising cartons that allow sufficient ventilation for plums is explained and the various types of ventilation that are utilised, are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The various cold chain facilities that require verification are listed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Facilities include but are not limited to:
  • Cold stores and container, registration, certification and current condition.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The inland loading procedures for plums and the various items that require verification as per the SOPs are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Verification items include but are not limited to:
  • Booking and CTO (Container Terminal Order), container settings, pre-trip; cleanliness, structure/seals, TTT (Temperature Time Tolerances), container settings, documentation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    The procedures for inland RRMT(Refrigerated Road Motor Transport) loading, as per the South African Road Distribution Association specifications are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    The shipping, voyage and discharge temperature management, including the shipping temperature regimes that must be followed for plums, are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 11 
    The various equipment and instruments that are used in monitoring and maintaining the cold chain are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Equipment and instruments include but are not limited to:
  • Thermometers, temperature recorders, thermocouples, seals.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 8 
    Determine the outcome of the quality assessment for a plum consignment. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    The outcome criteria include but are not limited to:
  • Evaluation of overall results, documentation, food safety, containers and packaging, external quality findings, internal quality findings, final decision, approval procedures, rejection procedures and alternatives, re-inspection and certification, appeal procedures. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The various documentation that will affect the evaluation of a plum consignment and the effect that these have on the determination parameters of acceptable quality is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Documentation includes but is not limited to:
  • Dispensations, SLA's (Service Level Agreements).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The food safety considerations that determine the acceptability of a plum consignment for export, as per regulations are detailed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Considerations include but are not limited to:
  • Hygienic status of containers, physical state of containers, MRL's (Maximum Residual Levels).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The various packaging and marking requirements that are considered in the evaluation of a plum consignment, as per regulations, are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Requirements include but are not limited to:
  • Suitability of containers, condition of containers, marking requirements, trace ability.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The importance that the evaluation of external quality findings against the allowable tolerances and standards has on the determination of acceptability of a plum consignment is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The role that the evaluation of internal quality findings, compared to the allowable tolerances and standards, has on the determination of acceptability of a plum consignment is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The documentation and procedures that have to be followed on the approval of a plum consignment are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Documentation and procedures include but are not limited to:
  • Approval documentation, application of relevant stickers/labels, issue certification and addendum (if necessary).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The documentation and procedures that have to be followed on the rejection of a plum consignment and the alternative markets that may be considered for this consignment are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Documentation and procedures include but are not limited to:
  • Rejection notification and documentation, application of relevant stickers, review dispensation options, optional or alternative standards/markets.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The maximum period from inspection to shipping, for which the apricot export certificate is valid, is given and the procedures and documentation that must be followed for the subsequent re inspection are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    The procedures that must be followed when an appeal has been lodged, are described. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
  • Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts.
  • Exploring education and career opportunities.
  • Developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

  • UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    The learner is able to identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made by:
  • Applying the export standards to evaluate the conformity of a plum consignment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    The learner is able to work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or communities by:
  • Participating with others in the verifying of the cold chain conditions for a plum consignment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    The learner is able to organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively by:
  • Preparing to conduct the sampling and assessment of a plum consignment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    The learner is able to collect, organise and critically evaluate information by:
  • Documenting the results of the external and internal plum examinations. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    The learner is able to communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentation by:
  • Formulating the plums compliance report and communicating the findings to the relevant parties. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    The learner is able to use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others by:
  • Utilising the necessary equipment to conduct a maturity test. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    The learner is able to demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognizing that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Evident in all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    The learner is able to contribute to the full personal development of themselves and the social and economic development of the society at large.
  • Evident in all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    The Learner:
  • Is expected to perform the specific outcomes reflected in this unit standard without direct supervision.
  • Should have access to work site procedures.
  • Should demonstrate an application of ethics and values.
  • Must apply basic principles of general safety and customer care.
  • Should demonstrate an awareness of the expectations and obligations of basic employee/employer relations including industrial relations principles.

    At this level the communication/reporting of issues arising in the workplace, is embedded in the specific outcomes and the related assessment criteria.

    It is understood that, due to the nature of the work environment and the skills level of the Learner, that the aspects of teamwork form an integral part of the necessary specific outcomes and related assessment criteria.

    The points included under the notes, should be included when the qualifying Learners are being assessed. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  58348   National Certificate: Perishable Produce Export Technology  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  AgriSETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.