LPA upgrades to underpin customer trust

27 September 2017

Key points

  • From 1 October 2017 producers who register with LPA or who are notified to renew their LPA accreditation need to:
    • ensure all on-farm practices meet LPA program requirements, which include biosecurity and animal welfare,
    • complete the LPA assessment, and
    • pay the $66 accreditation fee.
  • Existing LPA-accredited producers don’t necessarily need to do anything immediately. They will be notified two months before their accreditation is due for renewal of what action they need to take.
  • Producers must complete the assessment to renew LPA accreditation every three years.

The changes to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program, which come into effect next month, are simple to implement and will mean livestock producers can stand by what they sell now and into the future.

Industry leaders say Australian red meat enjoys access to more than 100 markets worldwide because customers trust that Australian product is the best quality, and is grown and produced safely and ethically.

“LPA underpins that trust. It is our promise to customers, and must continue to evolve and modernise to meet changing expectations,” said Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith.

The changes, which take effect from 1 October, will introduce biosecurity and animal welfare requirements, as well as the need for producers to complete a short assessment, to gain or renew LPA accreditation.

“While this is a significant strengthening of the program, the process for producers is not onerous. The new requirements of good on farm biosecurity and animal welfare practices are already the every day for the vast majority of producers,” said Sheepmeat Council of Australia president Jeff Murray.

Dr Jane Weatherley, chief executive officer of Integrity Systems Company, which manages LPA on behalf of the beef, sheep and goat industries, said the changes are a good opportunity for producers to revisit the on-farm requirements of their LPA accreditation.

“For most, little will change. The current version of the National Vendor Declaration remains the same, and while producers are encouraged to ensure they fully understand the changes by completing the online learning now, the need to do the assessment and renew accreditation is not immediate,” Dr Weatherley said.

Producers will only be required to renew their accreditation when it is due, once every three years, and every producer will be notified two months before it is time to do this. For example, some producers won’t receive a renewal notification until 2020 if they have renewed this year.

Since 2012, LPA has required producers to make a regular commitment to upholding its rules and standards. When renewing accreditation, producers will now complete a 14-question assessment, designed to verify knowledge and understanding of requirements.

The new requirements will be considered in LPA audits from 1 January 2018, however, sanctions will not be applied until July 2018.

“We are keen to ensure producers are guided through this process. From January LPA auditors will assess the new requirements, however producers will have a further six months to ensure they have fully incorporated all necessary practices into their on-farm management before auditors will formally register non-compliance,” said Dr Weatherley.

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