Producers embrace LPA changes

Thousands of Australian red meat producers have updated their Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accreditation as part of the changes that were implemented on October 1 to strengthen the program.

Since the updates were introduced, more than 4440 producers completed the new accreditation process. This includes 3816 who have renewed voluntarily, and an additional 624 who have become accredited for the first time.

These producers have completed the assessment via the LPA Service Centre to demonstrate they understand their food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity responsibilities. “Producers have been proactive in understanding and embracing the changes to the LPA program,” said Dr Jane Weatherley, CEO, Integrity Systems Company (ISC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia, who deliver the program on behalf of the red meat industry.

“The changes enhance the integrity of Australia’s $23 billion red meat industry and ensure our reputation and market access is protected, strengthening our promise to consumers and keeping us one step ahead of our competitors.

“It’s encouraging to know that producers have taken the time to understand their responsibilities, do the online learning modules and complete the accreditation process.”

More than 5500 producers have also attended 62 workshops across Australia to learn about the changes to LPA and in particular the introduction of biosecurity requirements.

“Attending the workshops gave producers the opportunity to ask questions about the new biosecurity requirements and understand from a practical perspective what they need to do on-farm to,” said Howard Smith Cattle Council of Australia President.

LPA-accredited mixed farmer Andrew Bell says the Sheepmeat Council of Australia workshop he attended in Horsham, Victoria in mid-October, helped him understand the new requirements. At the workshop, he and more than 100 other producers, worked through how to create a biosecurity plan for their farms.

“A lot of it is common sense. Going to the workshop was a valuable exercise and has helped me formulate a farm biosecurity plan.” Mr Bell said.
“Undertaking a biosecurity plan will make producers think about the importance of record keeping and how they would react if there were a biosecurity breach.

“If we can show we’re cleaner, greener and more transparent, it will be a lot easier to sell our products.” 

If any producers are still unsure about what they need to do to make sure they are compliant with the new LPA requirements, they can visit www.mla.com.au/LPAchanges, email lpa@mla.com.au or call the LPA hotline on 1800 683 111. Producers can also work through LPA Learning, a set of online learning modules that explain the on-farm practices required to meet the seven elements of LPA.

For more information, visit www.mla.com.au/LPAchanges

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