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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2015 2016
34 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2015-16 INDUSTRY SYSTEMS & FOOD SAFETY Food Safety and Integrity Systems Australia is recognised as a quality global sheepmeat producer and this international standing comes through the highest standards of product integrity. All producers have a responsibility to ensure this reputation is maintained through industry integrity systems such the use of National Vendor Declarations (NVD), utilising the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and ensuring on-farm standards through the Livestock Production Assurance Program (LPA). The SCA Board maintains a policy subcommittee which monitors developments in these areas and ensures a robust policy position is taken into these forums on behalf of the sheepmeat industry. Two key forums in which SCA delivers this work include SAFEMEAT and the National Residue Survey. SAFEMEAT SAFEMEAT is a partnership between the red meat and livestock industry and the state and federal governments of Australia. SCA is an industry partner of SAFEMEAT. The primary role of SAFEMEAT, as specified in the Meat Industry Memorandum of Understanding, is to oversee and promote sound management systems to deliver safe and hygienic product to the market place. In 2015, significant progress was made on the SAFEMEAT Initiatives Review. The final report of the Steering Group was released on 21 August 2015. The review’s vision is: “A fully auditable and responsive whole-of-chain risk management biosecurity system that maintains market access, food safety and product integrity (including traceability and animal welfare)”. This is supported by a range of principles and initiatives to form a roadmap for the future. With the decline in state-based monitoring programs and a general trend away from traditional approaches to regulation, the level of assurance expected by customers cannot be delivered solely through a traditional ‘compliance through government inspection’ model. This highlights the need for independently verified industry assurance programs to become the vehicle for industries to demonstrate that they are meeting nationally agreed standards in relation to food safety, biosecurity and product integrity. The broadening of scope of industry assurance programs will strengthen these programs, complementing government oversight and providing a framework that enhances system integrity and performance and ensures that the returns on industry and government investment are maximised. The key principles for the SAFEMEAT Initiatives are: • A strengthened on-farm risk management system. • A whole-of-chain risk management approach (encompassing producers, saleyards, feedlots, transporters, live exporters and processors). As the representative body for all Australian sheepmeat producers, SCA plays a key role in ensuring Australian sheepmeat achieves the highest standards of food safety and hygiene from farm to the consumer.