New online tool streamlining NZ red meat traceability

Beef cattle

A new online tool is being developed to capture key information about livestock status and movements as the animals move through the supply chain.

Representatives from the Ministry  Primary Industries, the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) that includes several MIA members, and OSPRI – which manages both the national animal identification and traceability programme (NAIT) and the bovine tuberculosis programme (TBFree) – are involved in the project.

The project builds on the existing Animal Status Declaration (ASD) system which requires beef, dairy and deer farmers to fill out a form when they move animals from a property, such as to a meat processor or to another farm. The aim is to make the process more efficient and easier for both farmers and processors by minimising the need to data re-entry, explains Michael Smith, RMPP general manager.

For red meat processors, ASD information provides key details about an animal’s health status and also information to meet licensing, customer and trading verification requirements. It also incorporates the tuberculosis (TB) questions required under the Biosecurity Bovine TB Pest Management Strategy Order 1998.

The initiative will enhance industry’s ability to trace an animal’s history accurately from birth to slaughter and seeks to address growing demands for biosecurity, market assurance and food safety, says OSPRI group manager Kayo Sakey.

Beyond the trial period, OSPRI is keen to combine the NAIT animal movements and ASD into one single transaction so that electronic ID verification aligns with consignment level data and information, she says.

“It is also an exciting opportunity to bring greater efficiencies for farmers and industry by more closely integrating the two major tools that underpin the national traceability framework.”

The online tool project will initially focus on direct farm-to-meat processor movements for a small number of RMPP processing sites and farmers.

This article has appeared in Food NZ magazine (February/March 2016) and is reproduced here with permission.

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