BEEF and sheepmeat processor Thomas Foods International has launched a new livestock certification program aiming to protect and build on Australia’s reputation for the highest quality, ethically and sustainably-raised beef, lamb, mutton and goat products.
Under the new ‘Thomas Family Guarantee’ certification, product will be verified as meeting labelling requirements including:
- Raised without Antibiotics
- No Added Hormones
- Humanely Raised
It also incorporates optional additional programs for Grassfed, Grainfed and Organic classifications.
“This is a non-onerous, concise and standardised program that provides the key supply chain information markets and customers across the globe are demanding of imported meat products, particularly in the US and European Union,” TFI national livestock manager Paul Leonard told stakeholders in a statement.
“Ultimately, the Thomas Family Guarantee is all about securing the best outcomes for our customers and suppliers,” he said.
Greater supply chain transparency was an essential ingredient in securing and building the future appetite for Australian meat, TFI said.
“In this highly-competitive global market, consumers understandably want reassurance they are receiving top quality product,” Mr Leonard said.
“Australia already has a reputation for high quality. However, it’s important for our industry and farmers across the country that we continue to provide proof of this comparative advantage.
“By providing transparency and verification through meaningful quality assurance programs we can continue to access lucrative target markets for Australian primary producers,” he said.
Beef Central asked for clarification on a number of points following the release of the TFI statement. The company has now responded to our questions, below:
- Is the new certification mandatory for all livestock suppliers? The program is not mandatory.
- If so, from when? TFI are asking for producers to enrol now.
- Is it an annual audit, or random audit? TFG audits will be random annual audits. Regularity of audits will be decided by the disclosure of TFI internal audits depending on previous audit performance
- Who pays the audit fee? No cost to producers
- How does TFI propose to audit ‘humanely raised’? Humanely raised claim is covered in animal welfare practices and training required for LPA certification and through the induction procedures of employees
- How does TFI propose to audit ‘sustainable’? TFI Environmental Declaration is signed stating the practices we require to see producers implementing that governs our sustainable claim.