Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) is supporting changes to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program.
SCA President, Jeff Murray said the upgrades will serve to strengthen LPA for the betterment of the sheep meat industry by ensuring Australia builds on its global reputation as a world leader in food safety, integrity and traceability.
“The industry must continue to work hard to ensure Australia’s red meat production is reinforced by an integrity system that delivers product to customers that meets and exceeds their expectations. The system also allows Australia to maintain its enviable access to new and existing markets, both at home and internationally,” Mr Murray said.
“Customers demand a high quality product that is safe and ethically produced. The sheepmeat industry is committed to continual improvement of the integrity system to underpin that claim and grow the sustainability and prosperity of Australian sheepmeat producers.
“SCA is confident that the changes to the LPA program will build our integrity credentials and allow producers to stand by what they sell.”
The upgrades to the LPA program will launch on October 1 2017 and include:
- On-farm biosecurity and animal welfare practices to be included in the LPA program
- LPA accredited producers will need to complete a regular assessment
- As part of a new secure funding model, producers will pay $60 (+GST) for LPA accreditation every three years
- New online learning modules to upskill producers (LPA Learning)
- Further rollout of free electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVD).
SCA CEO Dr Kat Giles said the changes will ensure Australia remains a world leader in red meat safety and traceability.
“Meeting the requirements of the LPA program will continue to provide livestock producers with a competitive advantage and the best opportunity to sell their livestock for the highest possible price in the greatest number of markets.
“A suite of tools and information will be provided to producers between now and October 1 2017 to make the changes as easy as possible.
“SCA, through our Food Safety and Integrity Systems and Animal Health and Welfare Committees worked in close consultation with the Integrity Systems Company and the wider red meat industry on the development and implementation of these changes and to ensure they align with the needs of the red meat industry.”