Tribute to NLIS board for its 'vision and leadership'

08 December 2016

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has paid tribute to the outgoing board of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Limited, lauding their leadership in developing and maintaining Australia’s internationally-renowned traceability systems.

MLA Managing Director Richard Norton said NLIS Limited Chairman John Wyld and his board would leave an invaluable legacy, with the Australian red meat industry ideally placed to meet increasing consumer demand for more information about where and how their red meat purchase was produced.

The NLIS Limited board held their final meeting last week before the red meat industry’s new Integrity and Information Systems Company takes on responsibility for managing Australia’s traceability and quality assurance programs for beef, sheep and goat meat.

“John Wyld deserves particular recognition as a forefather of NLIS and former President of the Cattle Council of Australia who had the vision and the leadership to drive the introduction of our traceability system – and in the face of some heavy opposition early on,” Mr Norton said.

“In the years since and still now, John and his contemporaries Peter Milne and Ian Feldtmann have been vindicated time and time again for their resolve. It has been a privilege for MLA Board member Rob Fitzpatrick and I to have served with them on the NLIS Ltd board in recent years.

“Today, because of our industry’s food safety and traceability systems, Australian red meat enjoys an impeccable reputation in global markets, with market share dominance in the important Japanese and Korean markets and sole access for chilled beef into China.”

The NLIS Limited AGM last Tuesday endorsed the new company objectives in one of the next steps to fully implementing the red meat industry’s Integrity and Information Systems Company.

The evolution to the new company follows a decision by industry and government – through the SAFEMEAT Initiatives Review chaired by John Wyld – to establish a single agency with responsibility for delivering a new, fully integrated integrity system.

The system will streamline the management of Australia’s traceability and quality assurance programs for beef, sheep and goat meat, including the NLIS, Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and National Vendor Declaration (NVD) programs, which have been separately managed until now.

Dr Jane Weatherley was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Integrity and Information Systems Company in September this year, while the MLA Board will formally take over governance of the company from NLIS Limited on 1 January, 2017.

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