LPA changes ensure producers can stand by what they sell

Australia’s world leading red meat integrity system has been enhanced and strengthened through significant upgrades to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program. The changes were designed to ensure the Australian red meat and livestock industry maintains its global reputation as a world leader in food safety, integrity and traceability, giving producers the evidence to stand by what they sell.

LPA accredited producers commit to best practice on-farm management which meets the stringent requirements of export markets. The program provides an assurance to domestic and global customers of the integrity of Australian red meat and enhances its reputation for safety and quality, giving Australia a key advantage and point of difference against international competitors.

The strengthening of LPA was developed by the red meat industry and was launch on 1 October 2017. It involved the introduction of biosecurity and animal welfare requirements, a regular online assessment and online learning modules to support producer understanding of their on-farm requirements. The changes were launched to coincide with the further roll-out of electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVD), giving producers the option to replace their NVD books with a free automated online system.

Watch a short video explaining the changes which took place to strengthen Australia's red meat integrity system on 1 October 2017.

For more information regarding the changes to the LPA program refer to the questions and answers below, read the information provided in the producer pack or view this presentation being delivered at workshops around Australia.

 

System Integration

What is being done to strengthen the integrity system?

In 2015 through the SAFEMEAT Initiatives Review, industry recognised that the integrity system that underpins our red meat industry must continue to be strengthened in order for livestock producers to stand by what they sell. A series of initiatives was established to achieve this. These include:

  • To become LPA accredited or renew their accreditation, producers need to complete a regular assessment to support understanding of program requirements
  • To ensure financial security of the LPA program, producers pay a $60 (+GST) accreditation fee once every three years
  • On-farm biosecurity and animal welfare practices have been included in the LPA program to deliver a full on-farm assurance program
  • New online learning modules have been added to upskill producers
  • electronic National Vendor Declaration (eNVD) system (encompassing LPA NVDs, MSA declarations, Animal Health Declarations and NFAS delivery documentation) has been rolled out for producer ease and improved traceability
How are the components of the integrity system being better integrated?

The new myMLA portal (see www.mla.com.au/integrity) provides a single point of entry to the various components of the system – Livestock Production Assurance (LPA), National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), LPA National Vendor Declarations, and Meat Standards Australia (MSA) – making the process simpler for producers.

The electronic National Vendor Declaration system is making the process of completing livestock consignment documentation simpler by incorporating LPA NVDs, MSA declarations, Animal Health Declarations and NFAS delivery documentation within a single electronic system.
Further work is being undertaken to investigate improved integration of the NLIS and LPA databases.

Why is this being done now?

Red meat producers are committed to demonstrating the integrity of their product. Market expectations are constantly evolving and the integrity system must reflect this. The changes have been designed to ensure the Australian red meat industry maintains its global reputation as a world leader in food safety, integrity and traceability, giving producers the evidence to stand by what they sell and stay ahead of international competitors.

Technological improvements also underpin continual improvement of the system, including more accurate and easier record keeping and transfer of information through the value chain. Industry seeks to leverage opportunities offered by technology which can save time and money.

How will this benefit livestock producers and the red meat industry?

Improved integration of the integrity system elements makes life easier for the producer by having all food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity requirements managed under a single framework. New technologies also allow the system to be more smoothly integrated into production practices, and further leveraged within individual businesses.

This continuous improvement of the system, and strengthened understanding and commitment from producers, improves the accuracy of information and ensure consumers both domestically and internationally can continue to trust Australian red meat is produced in an ethical and safe way.

When did these changes take place?

The eNVD system has been available since June 2017.
Introduction of the new accreditation process with an assessment required once every three years and payment of the associated fee, and integration of biosecurity and animal welfare requirements within LPA was implemented on 1 October 2017.

LPA Program ownership

What changed with LPA program ownership?

Administration of the LPA Program transferred from AUS-MEAT to the Integrity Systems Company on 5 April, 2017. The Integrity Systems Company, an MLA subsidiary, now administers the program on behalf of industry. AUS-MEAT continues to conduct the LPA on-farm audits.

What does this mean for producers?

The change in administration of the LPA program does not impact producers in any way.

Why did this change happen?

The 2015 SAFEMEAT Initiatives Review recommended management and oversight of the various integrity programs be streamlined to improve efficiency. This change supported that recommendation.

LPA accreditation & assessment

What is LPA accreditation?

Being accredited with LPA means that livestock producers agree to abide by the LPA Rules and Standards, including the seven elements of LPA which cover:

  • assessing risks on farm
  • treating animals safely and responsibly
  • managing pasture and fodder treatments
  • preparing animals for dispatch
  • documenting livestock transactions and movements
  • maintaining biosecurity practices
  • adhering to animal welfare practices.

This is a formal commitment to undertake specific on-farm practices that mean Australian red meat is safely and ethically produced. It is a guarantee that producers stand by what they sell.

Does LPA accreditation need to be renewed?

Producers are required to keep their LPA accreditation current. This ensures their knowledge of program requirements is always up to date. Traditionally, producers originally needed to recommit every 12 months.

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

How do producers renew their LPA accreditation?

Producers can log in to the LPA Service Centre and complete a short assessment to renew their accreditation. They need to answer all questions correctly to have their LPA accreditation renewed. They also have to agree to abide by the LPA program requirements and pay a fee.

How will producers know when it is time to renew their accreditation?

They will be notified by email or post two months before it is time to renew their accreditation. This traditionally happened annually but is now done once every three years, on the anniversary of their original sign-up date.

As a dairy farmer what do you need to do?

As dairy cattle are part of the food supply chain, dairy farmers are encouraged to maintain LPA accreditation.

All LPA-accredited dairy producers will need to register their dairy license number with LPA and complete a short assessment and declaration to renew LPA accreditation* every three years.

*Licensed dairy farmers will need to complete the LPA reaccreditation when it is due (or any time after 1 October 2017), but will not be required to complete the LPA learning modules or pay the LPA accreditation fee.

For more information click here

How much is the accreditation fee?

The fee is $60 (plus GST) over a three-year period. It will be a flat fee based on individual Property Identification Codes (PIC) and is due every time a producer reaccredits (every three years).  Where there are multiple LPA- accredited producers operating on a single PIC, each accredited producer is charged the fee. LPA eNVDs are available free of charge to accredited producers.

How is the fee collected?

The fee is collected once every three years upon completion of the assessment, either via online payment or over the phone through the LPA Helpdesk – 1800 683 111.

Why is accreditation being charged now?

Industry, through the LPA Advisory Committee, took the decision to charge livestock producers for accreditation from October 2017. Accreditation lasts for three years. With eNVDs being made available at no cost to LPA- accredited producers, industry needed to find an alternate, more secure funding model for the LPA program, which was historically funded through the sale of NVD books and eDECs.

When do producers need to pay?

From October 2017, producers need to pay the fee when:

  • Renewing their LPA accreditation - once every three years
  • Seeking LPA accreditation for a new PIC
  • Seeking accreditation for the first time
  • Every accredited producer will be sent a reminder two months prior to their accreditation falling due. For some producers, this will not happen until 2019.
What happens if a producer does not pay the fee?

Without payment and completion of the online assessment the producer will  no longer be LPA accredited. If they are not 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. Paying the fee is part of the LPA accreditation process.

How do producers become LPA accredited for the first time?

Producers seeking LPA accreditation for the first time are required to work through LPA on-line learning modules. They can find out more at www.mla.com.au/LPALearning

The full course takes about one hour to complete. Once the course is complete, they need to do an online assessment.
Producers need to answer all questions correctly and agree to abide by the LPA requirements in order to achieve LPA accreditation.  They need to pay the LPA accreditation fee as a part of this process.

How can producers prepare for the accreditation assessment?

Producers should work through LPA Learning in preparation to ensure they understand all requirements of the program. New animal welfare and biosecurity practice modules have been available within LPA Learning since July 2017.

Animal welfare

When did animal welfare become part of the LPA program?

Animal welfare was added as a new LPA program module on 1 October 2017. In preparation, from July 2017 an animal welfare module will be included within LPA Learning.
 

What do producers need to do on farm to meet LPA animal welfare requirements?

LPA-accredited producers must be able to demonstrate that on-farm systems have been implemented to ensure handling of livestock is consistent with the requirements of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards & Guidelines (S&Gs).  This can be achieved by ensuring:

  • A current copy of the S&Gs for cattle, sheep and/or goats (as applicable) is accessible as a reference and persons involved with husbandry of livestock are familiar with the content.
  • Persons responsible for the management of livestock handling have successfully completed training in relation to the S&Gs through LPA Learning or equivalent training.
  • Persons responsible for the management of livestock handling have trained their staff (where relevant) in a manner consistent with the S&Gs.
Why have animal welfare requirements been integrated into LPA?

LPA is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program. It provides customers and consumers with an assurance that Australian red meat is produced ethically, safely and in a biosecure way. Integrating animal welfare requirements strengthens the promise made to customers, and streamlines the process of record keeping and reporting for livestock producers.

Are these auditable?

Yes, animal welfare practices are audited as part of the LPA audit.  There is a checklist of activities that can assist producers in meeting the requirements of the LPA standard.

Will animal welfare questions be included in the accreditation test?

Yes, from 1 October 2017.

How do producers register completion of the module?

Producers who have completed the learning module will be able to print a certificate as evidence that they have completed the LPA animal welfare training

Biosecurity

When does biosecurity become part of the program?

Biosecurity was added as a new LPA program element on 1 October 2017. In preparation, in July 2017, a biosecurity module was included within LPA Learning.

What do producers need to do on farm to meet LPA biosecurity requirements?

From October 1 2017 LPA accredited producers have been required to have a Farm Biosecurity Plan and implement best-practice biosecurity practices in their on-farm management.

Will the current biosecurity practices employed by producers meet the LPA requirements?

This depends on the nature of their current practices. When seeking accreditation new producers are encouraged to review the LPA Biosecurity Standards and complete LPA Learning to ensure that they understand the biosecurity requirements within the LPA program and what they need to do on farm.

Some producers have cently introduced on-farm biosecurity planning as part of their Johnes Disease management system. Do they have to do a separate Plan for LPA?

Those producers who have developed a Farm Biosecurity Plan as part of their approach to Johne's disease (JD) management, do not need to complete another under the LPA program requirements.


Producers looking for more information on Johne’s disease management and transitional arrangements for J-BAS are urged to visit the Animal Health Australia website, AHA is delivering the changes on behalf of Cattle Council of Australia.

Why have biosecurity requirements being integrated into LPA?

LPA is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program. It provides customers and consumers with an assurance that Australian red meat is produced ethically, safely and in a biosecure way.

Integrating biosecurity requirements strengthens the promise made to customers, protects the industry and environment, and streamlines the process of record keeping and reporting for livestock producers.

Do producers need to keep records of biosecurity practices?

Yes, producers are required to develop a Farm Biosecurity Plan, and keep records of livestock movements, as well as vehicle and visitor movements where appropriate or practical.

Are these auditable?

Yes, biosecurity practices are audited as part of the LPA audit. There is a checklist of activities that can assist producers in meeting the requirements of the LPA standard.

Are biosecurity questions included in the accreditation assessment?

Yes, since 1 October 2017.

The eNVD system

What is the eNVD system?

The eNVD system is an electronic platform that includes the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) National Vendor Declarations, animal health declarations, Meat Standards Australia (MSA) declarations, and National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) delivery documents.

The eNVD system offers LPA-accredited producers access to the following eNVD declarations at no cost.

  • LPA NVD (Cattle, Bobby Calf, Sheep & Lambs, and Goat)
  • LPA Cattle European Union Vendor declaration (EUVD)
  • Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Declaration
  • National Health Declarations (Cattle, Sheep & Goat)

The completed LPA eNVD record is stored centrally on the NLIS database, and is retrievable by senders and receivers, through their software or via the LPA or NLIS databases, without the need for paper copies to be printed.

When is the eNVD system available?

On 30 June 2017, the eNVD system was made available via the LPA Service Centre (lpa.nlis.com.au) to a sub-set of LPA accredited users for early user feedback. Based on the feedback from these users, the industry eNVD website will be further refined before it is released to all LPA accredited users. The eNVD system is also available via licensed eNVD software providers; a list of these providers is available at www.mla.com.au/envd

If you are interested in providing early user feedback to the industry eNVD website, please email lpa@mla.com.au or call the LPA NVD hotline on 1800 683 111.

Why should producers use eNVDs instead of the paper version?

eNVDs provide access to the latest versions of the vendor declarations; and reduce the time taken to complete an NVD, without having to complete the form in triplicate as is currently required with eDECs. In time, it will also remove the logistical issue of storing and retrieving old paper LPA NVDs.

eNVDs also allow for other declarations to be made at the same time (e.g. MSA, animal health declarations, and NFAS delivery documents), further reducing the time and paperwork involved in preparing information required when consigning livestock. Producers and feedlots can access LPA eNVDs at no cost through the LPA Service Centre, whereas paper NVDs still carry a charge per book.

Is it compulsory for producers to change to using eNVDs?

No. Producers can continue to use paper NVDs. Paper NVDs continue to cost $40 (GST inclusive) per book.

Do producers need to do anything to start using eNVDs?

All LPA accredited producers are able to access and start using eNVDs now.  For property-to-property movements, the eNVD is sent automatically to the receiver of the livestock, and is stored centrally within the NLIS database (managed on behalf of industry by the Integrity Systems Company), for easy access by both the sender and the receiver of the livestock.

For movements to feedlots, saleyards and processors, when producers create an eNVD, the system lets them know whether the receiver is ready to receive the NVD electronically.  If they are ready, a producer simply submits the eNVD and the information is transferred electronically.  If they are not ready, the livestock consignor needs to print a copy of the NVD for the transporter and the receiver.

How do producers access an eNVD?

Producers can access eNVDs through the LPA or NLIS database or through software that has been licensed for the eNVD. Producers are able to retrieve all eNVDs that they have submitted or that have been addressed to their property. An eNVD 6 step guide and a more detailed eNVD user manual has been developed to explain how to create an eNVD via the LPA service centre.

 A list of software that is licensed for the eNVD is available at https://www.mla.com.au/envd

 

How do producers know if their supply chain is accepting eNVDs?

When creating an LPA NVD through the LPA Service Centre or licensed eNVD software, producers receive a message requesting that the NVD be printed out if the receiver is not yet ready to receive NVDs electronically.

What do producers do if their supply chain is not using eNVDs yet?

The LPA NVD (and any other documents completed using the eNVD) are also  printable for those along the supply chain who still require a physical copy for operational or legislative reasons.

Why do feedlots, saleyards and processors need to opt in to use eNVDs?

Only feedlots, saleyards and processors need to ‘opt-in’ for eNVDs.  This allows the eNVD system to identify those supply chains that are ready to receive NVDs electronically.  When a feedlot, saleyard or processor has ‘opted-in’ for eNVDs, producers are not required to print a copy of the eNVD to accompany the livestock.

How are the eNVDs created through the LPA Service Centre different from those provided by other commercial companies?

The LPA Service Centre is an online service that allows LPA-accredited producers to create eNVDs while connected to the internet. Commercial software applications that are eNVD licensed will also allow producers to create eNVDs, but may provide greater portability and flexibility so that eNVDs can be created while working offline or out of the office.

Is training provided on how to use eNVDs?

The provider of the software producers are using is able to assist with training needs. An educational video will be developed to explain the eNVD and accessible via the Integrity Hub website:  www.mla.com.au/integrity. An eNVD 6 step guide and a more detailed eNVD user manual has been developed to explain how to create an eNVD via the LPA service centre.The LPA Helpdesk is also able to support producers using the LPA Service Centre to create eNVDs

What is the difference between an eDEC and an eNVD?

An eDEC is an electronic version of the LPA NVD. The eDEC simplifies the completion process as it takes producers through the components of an LPA NVD step-by-step and can be printed once completed. To validate the eDEC, three copies must be printed and signed, with copies provided to the transporter, and livestock receiver and one retained for records. The eDEC system requires LPA-accredited producers to first purchase an LPA eDEC token, and then complete the LPA eDEC either on computer or on printed copies. eNVDs have further simplified this process by creating an identical copy that is automatically sent to all parties electronically. 

Unlike the eDEC system, the eNVD system offers the LPA-accredited producer ith an LPA eNVD at no cost. The completed LPA eNVD record is stored centrally, and is retrievable by its intended receivers electronically, without the need for paper copies to be printed. The eNVD system also offers producers animal health declarations, MSA declarations and NFAS delivery documentation.

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