As consumer scrutiny of the production of food grows, Australia’s beef producers are again being urged to commit to the industry’s Livestock Production Assurance program.
LPA is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm food safety program, introduced seven years ago.
It underpins the LPA National Vendor Declaration which all LPA-accredited producers are required to sign when selling livestock.
From August 1 this year, accredited producers will be required to confirm their commitment to the LPA program when ordering new NVD booklets. If they do not, they will be unable to purchase LPA NVDs.
“In signing the declaration, producers are pledging that they have carried out all the farm management practices that underpin the LPA standards,” said LPA advisory committee chairman Kevin Roberts.
“These practices ensure that the red meat produced is safe to eat, and meets the stringent conditions of our export markets.
“The success of our livestock industry is underpinned by Australia’s enviable reputation as a producer of safe red meat. We export red meat to over 100 countries with varying food safety and market requirements,” Mr Roberts said.
“LPA provides a food safety assurance to these customers. It’s about every individual producer fulfilling their responsibility in the safe production of red meat. Signing the LPA NVD demonstrates that producers stand by what they sell.”
According to Mr Roberts, the Australian red meat industry, its reputation in both domestic and international markets, and the livelihoods of individual livestock producers are dependent on all participants fulfilling the obligations of LPA accreditation.
LPA accreditation also ensures that livestock sells for the highest possible price and is not discounted.
To renew their commitment to the program, producers are required to complete a declaration with nine questions. This can be done online via www.mla.com.au/lpa or by calling the LPA helpline on 1800 683 111.
“Accredited producers have previously agreed to the requirements of the program and the recommitment process is a way to ensure awareness of the on-farm practices required under LPA is maintained,” Mr Roberts said.
“The LPA advisory committee has agreed to this way forward because all LPA-accredited producers need to be aware of and understand their responsibilities under the program.”
LPA is overseen by the industry’s LPA Advisory Committee (LPAAC), made up of representatives of peak bodies in the red meat production business. It aims to provide an assurance of the safety of red meat grown on Australian properties.