Online learning strengthens food safety commitment

28 July 2016

A new online course educating Australia’s red meat producers in on-farm safe food practices is being unveiled as the next step forward in the national Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program.

Developed by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the 30-minute electronic course, known as LPA Learning, is aimed at improving producer knowledge around on-farm food safety practices.

“It’s vital all red meat producers understand their food safety responsibilities,” said Peter Hall, member of the LPA Advisory Committee and a cattle producer from north-west Queensland.

“LPA Learning supports producers to implement the on-farm practices required to deliver safe red meat to our domestic and international customers.

“With the national trend towards reduction in public extension services, and the remote locations of many producers, online learning is a cost-effective way to deliver training.”

LPA Learning will also be used to strengthen the processes for LPA accreditation and producers’ periodic recommitment to the program.

From 1 September 2016, producers seeking LPA accreditation for the first time must work through LPA Learning, and then successfully complete a 10-question assessment before they can become accredited.

From January 2017, producers already accredited under LPA will be asked to complete the online assessment when they recommit to the program. Producers will be notified by email or by letter when their recommitment is due, which will happen progressively on a three-year cycle. They may also work through the LPA Learning tool in preparation for their recommitment.

“Producers are generally very hands-on,” said Michael Craig, a sheepmeat and cattle producer from western Victoria.

“Through LPA Learning, information is provided in an easy-to-follow story-based approach which includes questions to check each producer’s knowledge and reinforce learning along the way.

“What better way to learn how best to implement LPA on our own properties than by practising real activities in real scenarios?

“We are encouraging all producers to get online and test their knowledge of LPA requirements.” To complete the online assessment, registered producers must log in from 1 September at http://lpa.ausmeat.com.au/

LPA Learning background:

  • LPA Learning covers all five elements of the Livestock Production Assurance program:
  1. property risk assessment
  2. safe and responsible animal treatment
  3. stock foods, fodder crops and grain pasture treatments
  4. preparation for dispatch of livestock
  5. livestock transactions and movements.
  •  Learners are introduced to five characters representing producers of beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat
  • Within the course, they follow the journey of each individual through the process of making sure they comply with the five core requirements of the LPA program.
  • This allows learners to make decisions and complete activities that closely simulate the things they do in their daily on-farm work.
  • To ensure the small number of producers who are not yet online are not excluded, a printed learning pack will be available on a user-pays cost-recovered basis. The accreditation and recommitment processes can be finalised via telephone for these individuals.
  • A short video explaining LPA Learning has been produced.
  • More information on the learning modules can be found at www.mla.com.au/LPAlearning

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