A Central Queensland beef producer has become the first in Australia to achieve certification under the grassfed beef industry’s new Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS).
Ross and Chris Rolfe, from Birrong, between Rolleston and Springsure, were granted certification late last month, and quickly became the first producers in Australia to sell a line of PCAS-certified pasturefed cattle at the Rolleston annual store sale recently.
In another historic first, Teys Australia's northern and southern direct consignment cattle grids released this morning included a PCAS 'column' for the first time, offering a hefty 20c/kg price premium over and above the existing MSA grassfed steer/heifer price for kills after August 1.
PCAS, a new voluntary certification arrangement launched in April by Cattle Council of Australia, enables the grassfed beef production supply chain to provide ‘Certified Pasturefed’ cattle and beef to the export and domestic marketplace.
Mr Rolfe said the process involved in becoming certified was ‘fairly straightforward’ and started with registering his property with the program online at www.certifiedpasturefed.com.au
After that it was a matter of having an on-site audit conducted.
"The on-site audit really focused on the records and evidence we have to substantiate the claims we are making regarding the way the animals have been raised," Mr Rolfe said.
Referencing their ability to prove compliance with the PCAS Standards, he said it was all about ensuring that records and documents were available on the day of the audit, and that steps had been taken prior to the audit to ensure the business could provide appropriate information in an auditable format on the day.
Mrs Rolfe said a good management system and records were necessary.
“But in our business system, we are already collating this information, and it wasn’t difficult to provide this to demonstrate compliance with the certification program," she said.
The Rolleston store sale was held after a Beefing-Up Performance MSA/PCAS meeting held at the saleyards and convened through CCA and Teys Australia.
Teys, the first major processor to commit to the PCAS program, outlined to attendees the rationale for adopting PCAS to underpin the company’s Grasslands brand and the potential for certified producers to secure premiums when consigning Certified Pasturefed cattle to slaughter.
CCA chief executive, Jed Matz, said some of the Rolleston workshop participants had already completed their preliminary PCAS audit, and were able to provide comment and feedback on the process and what’s involved for their fellow producers.
The broader auditing of the program has been ‘officially’ commenced, with auditing and certification services being provided by SGS Australia and AusMeat.
In order to undertake an audit, producers must be registered via www.certifiedpasturefed.com.au
Once registered they will receive contact details and further information regarding arrangements for auditing.
Join our PCAS webinar to learn more
Beef Central and FutureBeef will jointly host a free one-hour webinar information session for producers this Thursday, July 4. The webinar will start at 1:30pm AEST (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart), 11:30am (Perth), 1:00 pm (Darwin, Adelaide).
Join PCAS program coordinator Angela Schuster and Teys Australia Livestock General manager Geoff Teys, with hosts Jon Condon (Beef Central) and John James (FutureBeef).
They will outline the purposes of the PCAS program; why it was introduced by Cattle Council of Australia; the audit process and what’s involved in compliance; the ‘ins and outs’ of allowable feedstuffs under a pasture fed standard; allowable cattle movements from non-PCAS properties and other information of value to stakeholders considering joining the program.
This event is for anyone involved along the beef supply chain including producers, processors, brand managers, supply chain managers, agents, consultants and consumers.
To participate in this webinar:
- Reserve your webinar seat now by following this link (alternatively copy and paste this web address into your browser: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/863174030. You need to register to receive your personal login details (if you don’t receive an automated response within a minute or so, check your junk email folder).
- Click the option to ‘Add to Outlook calendar’ to get an automated reminder to join the webinar.
- Test your computer set-up beforehand by going to this Citrix website (http://bit.ly/citrix_test) and click on the ‘Join a session’ link. If you have problems, contact your local computer support people or the friendly GoToWebinar support folk (1800 356 792 in Australia).
- Join 10 minutes early on the day of the webinar. You can interact by typing questions in the Q&A panel or by raising your electronic hand.
This is a BeefConnect event, brought to you through a partnership between FutureBeef and Beef Central.