Facebook Twitter

Big changes coming for Livestock Production Assurance – new $60 fee, animal welfare inclusions

by Beef Central, 07 June 2017
24

Significant changes will be introduced to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) system in October.

MLA’s Integrity Systems Company says the changes are designed to strengthen the Australian red meat industry’s global reputation as a world leader in food 
safety, integrity and traceability.

Changes producers need to be aware of include:

  • On-farm biosecurity and animal welfare practices will be included in the LPA program;
  • LPA accredited producers will need to complete online learning modules and a short assessment to test their knowledge every three years;
  • As part of a new funding model, producers will pay $60 + GST for LPA accreditation every 
three years;
  • The changes coincide with the further rollout of free electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVD). replacing the need to buy hard copy NVD books for $40.

The changes have been announced by the new Integrity Systems Company, a subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) which was launched last month to manage all of Australia’s livestock quality assurance programs – (LPA, National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) and the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)) – in a single structure.

The LPA, NVDs and the NLIS are key on-farm components of the Australian red meat industry’s food safety assurance system. In gaining LPA accreditation livestock producers commit to best practice on-farm management which meets the stringent requirements of Australia’s wide array of export markets.

The LPA was launched as a voluntary system, but in practical terms, producers who do not gain LPA accreditation are severely restricted in their livestock selling options. The majority of meat processors require livestock to be sourced from LPA-accredited properties, while it is also a requirement that LPA producers source livestock from other LPA accredited producers.

Click on image to enlarge

From October, producers will be required to renew their LPA accreditation once every three years, and will be notified by email or post when their existing accreditation is due for renewal.

Once notified, producers will have two months in which to renew.

New fee

A new $60 plus GST fee will be charged every three years to remain in the LPA program.

The new fee replaces the current LPA model which is funded via the sale of hard copy NVD books (costing $40 each).

Producers will be able to now access LPA electronic NVDs free of charge.

The new $60 fee will supplement levy investment to ensure ongoing resourcing for, and future improvements to, the LPA program.

Where there is more than one LPA accredited producer operating on a Property Identification Code (PIC), the fee will apply to each of those producers.

Producers with more than one PIC will be required to complete the assessment and make the fee payment for each of those PICs.

Regular online assessment

Traditionally, producers have needed to recommit to LPA every 12 months.

This is being changed to an accreditation renewal once every three years, beginning on 1 October 2017, and will now include online learning modules and a short assessment to test producers’ knowledge of program requirements.

PIC owners will be notified by email or post two months before it is time to renew their accreditation.

This has traditionally happened annually but will now be done once every three years, on the anniversary of their original sign-up date.

Animal welfare requirements

LPA accredited producers will have to be able to demonstrate from October they have implemented on-farm systems to ensure handling of livestock is consistent with the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for cattle, sheep and goats.

They can do this by ensuring:

  • A current copy of the Standards and Guidelines for cattle, sheep and/or goats (as applicable) is accessible as a reference and people involved with husbandry of livestock are familiar with the content.
  • People responsible for the management of livestock handling have successfully completed training in relation to the Standards and Guidelines through LPA Learning or equivalent training.
  • People responsible for the management of livestock handling have trained their staff (where relevant) in a manner consistent with the Standards and Guidelines.

Strengthening Australia’s global point of difference

Jane Weatherley

Integrity Systems Company CEO Dr Jane Weatherley said the LPA system gives Australia a key advantage and point of difference against international competitors.

“The enhancements announced today are important to strengthen our promise to consumers and stay ahead of our competitors,” Dr Weatherley said.

“Australian red meat producers are renowned for delivering quality red meat into more than 100 international markets and our industry is well known for its food safety and traceability.

“This reputation is underpinned by our world leading integrity systems, including the LPA program.”

To support the program’s continual improvement, from 1 October producers will be required to pay $60 per LPA accreditation

“The new fee structure has been developed by industry and will ensure a positive and secure future for the LPA program. By having a renewed process of accreditation, producers will better understand their on-farm responsibilities and the crucial role they play in driving the growth and prosperity of our industry.”

Don Mackay

Red Meat Advisory Council chair Don Mackay said broadening the LPA program to include biosecurity and animal welfare will serve to reinforce the system.

“Australian red meat producers are committed to achieving high animal welfare standards and understand the intrinsic link between high welfare and high productivity, the importance of Australia’s enviable biosecurity status and the value of the LPA program,” Mr Mackay said.

“Integrating these practices – some of which are already required under legislation – into the LPA program will significantly strengthen our pledge to our customers, and protect the industry for the future,” Mr Mackay says.

Producers will be supported in preparing for the assessment – including the biosecurity and animal welfare requirements – by LPA Learning, an online education tool developed by MLA.

Producers can access background information on all aspects of Australia’s red meat integrity system at the Integrity Hub, www.mla.com.au/integrity

Renewing the accreditation of the 215,000 PICs currently involved in LPA will be a gradual process, with owners of those PICs expected to have completed assessments and renewed accreditation by 2020.

Beef Central has been told that proceeds raised by the new $60 fee will be reinvested in the program through support and tools for producers such as education packages and technology upgrades, a strengthened auditing capacity, maintenance of the LPA helpline, and continued integration of system databases.

Producers will only have to recommit through the accreditation process once every three years – rather than the current annual process.

Paying the fee and completing the online assessment will be part of the LPA accreditation process from 1 October.

If producers choose not to be accredited under the LPA program, they will no longer have access to the LPA NVD which carries the LPA logo, and supply chains may not accept their livestock, or may pay a reduced price for it.

 



Topics:

Related Stories

Reader's Comments


Comment
  • Katherine Doolan June 7, 2017

    Would it be possible to have regional days where current LPA producers can access advisors / information,and prepare for accreditation?

  • Phil Hurford June 7, 2017

    As a livestock agent, I can understand the merit in this bio security measure but having the first notification of this today, it’s going to be an absolute nightmare to get our clients compliant by the end of the month. It all seems a bit rushed and will disadvantage some producers that for varied reasons can’t possibly implement this by the end of the month.

    Hi Phil, thanks for your comment. Changes to the LPA program will take place from 1 October 2017. Producers will be notified at least two months in advance of their accreditation being due. For factsheets on the LPA requirements visit: http://www.mla.com.au/LPA
    It may also be worth noting that separate but related changes to Johne’s Disease begin on 1 July 2017. For more information on JD, visit Animal Health Australia.
    Hope that information helps. Editor.

  • Brett Page June 8, 2017

    Could mla please redesign the current eDec forms ! My 11 year old could have done a better job . Have to enter the date in 3 seperate places on the nfas dec for example

  • Lindsay Gibson June 9, 2017

    RED TAPE FOR RED MEAT. So Weatherly admits in her third paragraph that Australians are renowned for ability to produce quality incorporating food saftey and tracibility, but infers that we need to be educated (at a cost) by doing accreditation courses. What an insult.

  • Brad Bellinger June 9, 2017

    This is another impost and unnecessary cost imposed upon our industry. Barnaby Joyce initiated a senate inquiry into the structure of the red meat industry and yet ignored the recommendations put forward by the senate committee. To his shame producers must now endure more costs and more regulation imposed upon the industry by a MLA sub committee.
    W

  • Peter Williams June 9, 2017

    A programme designed by someone on the 10th story of some downtown office. It is 99% fiction on the ground and is now a money making scheme for someone because MLA cannot afford to keep funding this little nowhere plan. Our customers at home and abroad know little and care less about mla’s quality assurance scheme. To charge for it adds insult to injury.

  • Gil Schmidt June 12, 2017

    These people supposedly representing the industry havn’t got a clue. Doesn’t it occur to them that many have no internet access and have no alternative than a hard NVD copy which I prefer to take to the cattle yards anyway. Are they going to be exempted from paying the LPA fee. Will those without internet access have an examination paper via post to enable accreditation. It is time both MLA and CCA were sacked. Typically why were not all PIC holders circularised advising of the requirement for on farm biosecurity by June 30 with a template for completion.? Industry leaders are a failure.

  • Michele Kellett June 13, 2017

    Last ABS data states “number of farmers in Aust is declining as small farms sell up and fewer young people take over”; “Australian farmers tend to be older than other workers”; “almost half of farming families comprised couples likely to no longer have older children at home” . Our family is lucky to have a mix of generational experience and education to enable the management of change. But ABS data reflects that not everyone will be in the same boat. I feel for the older farmers who just want to keep doing what they do best – is this another change for changes sake?

  • Wendy cole June 16, 2017

    With the hard copy nvd now not funding the LPA model will hard copy books now be cheaper. No everyone has great internet and there is nothing more stressful when your computer crashes and you need to download the permit. With producers that have cattle on adgistment on numerous properties, they will be paying $60 per property adgisted . Will we need to apply by 1st October. Lots of family properties have family members running cattle on the property so each one has to pay $60. Do we not have enough red tape in our industry already?

  • Geoff Haack June 20, 2017

    Very difficult to argue against any of the above comments. More & more the productive sectors in this country are being milked dry by the educated idiocracy who all reside in air conditioned offices with no hands on knowledge and far less common sense.
    The lack of timely communication on this and the assumption tha producers will just simply know about it qualifies the point.

  • Greg Edmonds June 20, 2017

    As stated NVD forms will now be free – do we get a refund for all the pre-purchased NVD’s that are sitting out there in cyber -space!!!!

  • Evelyn Fletcher July 30, 2017

    We have had no information on any of the new changes by email or post only found out about all the changes by word of mouth.

  • Robert Burt September 26, 2017

    Received my notification today- 26/9/17, envelope postmarked 25/9/2017, letter dated 28/8/2017. It was addressed to myself and a gentleman who last aggisted his cattle on my property 3 years ago and I am told I have to have the paper work in by the October 1. I think I’ll be as efficient as the LPA.

  • Ian Taylor September 27, 2017

    I only received my letter and guidelines 22/09. will not be able to have completed by 1/10. ….. Mmmm

  • Ted Hunt September 27, 2017

    WHAT IS THE $66 FOR ??????????????????????????????????? WHO’S POCKET IS IT GOING INTO

  • Chris Pettigrove September 27, 2017

    i don’t see any support from produces. Considering this is coming from an industry run organisation supposed to represent us. I spent half the day on the phone to the lpa mla and Victorian farmers federation. Trying to find out what my $66 is going to be used for and where it’s going. I got a few different answers but it appears it’s going into admin cost, that were never there before the changes. If we don’t pay the mla shut us down. If we refuse the audit, they shut us down. Something is terribly wrong with this picture. They deny this but they will now have full control on when and how we run our operation. All we can do is roll over and say how high sir. I’m sure North Korea has a similar policy. This isn’t right.

  • Debbie Walkley September 28, 2017

    l received the pack this week and now we got to have it in way 1/10/17l rang helpline to ask a few questions with no help left on hold ,also l wanted to know about $66.00 WE need more help with this

  • Ted Hunt September 30, 2017

    MMM and if you have more than one pic number you have to pay the $66 for each one WTF! Glad i only have one

  • Heather Missen October 5, 2017

    Is the LPA program compulsory?
    Can you join at a later date when time permits?
    Is there a choice to continue under the old system and how will that impact the selling of cattle?

  • Joanne Buckley October 8, 2017

    How do i pay the 66 dollars

  • Joanne Buckley October 8, 2017

    Please can u help me with How do i pay Thank u

  • Jasmine Welsh October 9, 2017

    How is this reasonable to think farmers with no internet access, a helpline to be put on hold with, also then to be occupied with farming/life responsibilities to be able to complete this by the due date?

  • Jasmine Welsh October 10, 2017

    This equates to 13million dollars plus -from this $66 program fee that will be incurred from these LPA requirements (from every 3 years) of their estimate of 200 thousand producers in Australia, as stated on their document. A windfall for the LPA.

  • Milton Duke October 10, 2017

    We purchase between 4 to 6 calfs each year , to lawnmower graze on a 6 acre property. We are not classed as a PRODUCER under government taxation qualfications. Land acreage too small.
    The animals are used to graze on our grass for a period of about 8 months and then resold through the local cattle sales yard .
    Are we required to adhere to your money-hungry LPA, if so why, noting we are not classed as a producer, and if we are required what support do you give to us and others in getting taxation deduction benefits.
    People shall be treated equally.

    We couldn’t agree more with your final comment that people should be treated equally, Milton. Unfortunately statistics also clearly show that issues like chemical residue in beef, or risk associated with FMD, tend to be skewed heavily towards smaller-scale beef producers – sometimes described as ‘hobby’ farmers. They do not have the same vested interest in the beef industry that larger producers do. If their 4-6 head of cattle turned off each year are detected in Japan containing a chemical residue, and that market to Australian beef is closed, their life goes on. But the same cannot be said for a dedicated larger-scale beef producer, whose business could be decimated by such a detection.

    For this reason, to suggest that a hobby farmer turning off 4-6 head each year should be in some way ‘excused’ from LPA because of their tax status defies logic, and in fact could be one of the most dangerous decisions the industry or government could possibly make. LPA is all about protecting Australia’s clean and green status in international markets, Milton, and unfortunately hobby farming remains a high-risk area. Editor.

  • Leave a comment

    (First Name and Surname Required) - read our Comment Policy

    (Required)

    (Required)