With recent changes occurring in Australia’s international market access arrangements, the Red Meat Advisory Council is urging the industry to adopt the use of a nationally-consistent National Vendor Declaration form for cattle.
“RMAC recognises the importance of the Livestock Production Assurance NVD to Australia’s ongoing access to overseas markets and the trade in livestock domestically,” council chairman Ross Keane says in a statement to be issued this afternoon.
“The council therefore strongly supports the ongoing use of nationally-consistent livestock LPA NVDs that are up-to-date and accurate in meeting industry’s needs for declaring the status of the livestock to which they refer,” he said.
Periodic LPA NVD updates were required as market, chemical-residue and other relevant circumstances changed, Mr Keane said.
As a result of recent international market developments and to ensure ongoing market access for Australian livestock and livestock products, RMAC says it supports the industry-wide use of only the 2013 Cattle, Sheep and Goat LPA NVDs for livestock movements from February 1, 2015.
The recommendation effectively gives producers six months’ notice to use-up earlier versions of the NVD forms.
Application of RMAC’s recommendation will ultimately be a commercial decision made by buyers and sellers, but as such, implementation by individual buyers may occur prior to February 1 next year, depending on their circumstances. Already several processors, including Nolan Meats at Gympie, Qld, have imposed earlier deadlines on their suppliers.
The NVD form has been frequently revised over the years to reflect changes in market and importing country requirements. However there is a compelling case for producers to use the latest version of the NVD to ensure they provide the most up-to-date and relevant information to buyers, to avoid any risk of market suspensions or failure.
In isolated cases, processors say they still receive NVD forms dating back as far as 2004-vintage documents, wording for which has changed substantially since then.
Already major processors have endorsed the RMAC recommendation.
JBS general manager livestock, Duane Woodham, said his company endorsed the RMAC position, and the need for consistency in the use of National Vendor Declarations.
“It’s important for a range of reasons, including market access requirements, quality control and auditing purposes,” Mr Woodham said.
“We would strongly support the suggestion made by RMAC, and will adopt it within the timeframe discussed,” he said.
Teys Australian general manager livestock Geoff Teys also supported the move, while also encouraging producers to consider using electronic, rather than paper-based NVDs. Electronic NVDs are always the most up-to-date version and are cheaper than paper-based declarations.
The NVD form underpins the Livestock Production Assurance program, Australia’s red meat food safety guarantee to our domestic and international customers. It assures Australia’s domestic and international customers that our red meat is safe.
- The Red Meat Advisory Council is the peak red meat industry body including membership from the Australian Meat Industry Council, Cattle Council of Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, the Australian Lot Feeders Association and the Australian Livestock Exporters Council.
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