WITH public comment now open for the draft Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027, it is time for Tasmanian farmers to have their say prior to its expected implementation.
The strategy envisions broadening the scope of Tasmanian traceability requirements, from primarily applying to meat production to eventually encompassing a variety of agricultural industry sectors producing food and agricultural products.
For many farmers, this will likely mean the mandatory implementation of electronic Identification Devices (eID’s) in livestock with costs purported to be around $1.30 to $1.50 per tag excluding GST. The Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting held in July this year led to the following statement being released on traceability.
“Agriculture ministers recognised the importance of livestock traceability for increasing preparedness for foot and mouth and other animal diseases, and to effective disease response. “Ministers agreed in principle to advance work on a national approach to Australia’s livestock traceability systems noting the urgent need for a national mandatory individual identification system for sheep and goats that is practical to implement, industry led and cost efficient (following Victoria’s earlier introduction of these arrangements).”
Currently only Victoria has mandated and implemented eID tag use for sheep, while New South Wales are beginning the steps of implementation. In Tasmania, the TFGA is undertaking an investigation into the introduction of eID’s for livestock, aiming to identify benefits and challenges to Tasmanian’s sheep and goat producers and the industry.
The TLX centre in Powranna has also been updating its facility with the eID implementation in mind. “The more information that is available, the more accurate supply chain processes and animal management are, and the more we can reliably trace in the event of a biosecurity incident,” said TLX Manager Andrew Palmer.
“We will continue to work with the relevant government and industry groups to address challenges and support opportunities that strengthen the livestock industry in Tasmania.”
The first phase will include new regulations for livestock that will align traceability requirements for key livestock sectors including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.
The second phase will involve development of new traceability regulations for the seafood and horticultural sectors, and the implementation of the decision-making framework.
The third phase will provide continual support and consultation to industry sectors to lead to full implementation of the discrete five-year primary produce traceability strategy.
The draft strategy is now open for public comment, with submissions closing on September 30, 2022.
The draft can be found at nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/product-integrity/tasmanian-primary-produce-traceability-strategy.
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. au, or Primary Produce Traceability Program PO Box 303, Devonport, TAS, 7310. To participate in the TFGA’s online eID survey, visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V9FYHRD.
Further information about the TFGA survey and the investigation can be obtained from Elle Davis at redmeatIDO@ tfga.com.au or Lee Beattie at email@example.com.