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Record keeping and obligations

In order to support Australia's reputation as a source of safe and traceable red meat, it is important that producers keep good records. These records not only help with the overall management of the business, but in some cases, are a legal obligation.

Record keeping is important in enabling the measurement, monitoring, benchmarking and annual comparison of enterprise performance. Accurate records provide confidence that the profitability of the enterprise is being maximised and that the business plan is being implemented effectively.

The key to sound decision making is having accurate information. Without good records, current business progress cannot be accurately compared to previous years or industry benchmarks and management can have no way of knowing whether the enterprise is progressing well or losing ground.

Record keeping and planning

Business planning and enterprise planning require a sound economic and performance evaluation of the current and/or alternative enterprise strategies. Accurate records are important in providing the basis for this evaluation. Important records include the business accountant's report, livestock journals kept by the manager, logs of all chemical usage, livestock movement documentation such as the LPA NVD/Waybill, livestock trading records and rainfall data.

Producers should implement a well organised record keeping process to ensure that accurate records are routinely recorded, easily accessible and provide an accurate impression of business activity.

Mandatory record keeping

Some forms of record keeping are legally enforceable. Certain industry systems, such as Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and quality assurance programs such as AgriSure, also have mandatory record keeping requirements.

LPA is compulsory for livestock producers who use the LPA NVD/Waybill and underpins the integrity of the globally recognised declaration. Once LPA accredited producers become part of a random audit pool and, if audited, detailed records must be produced to verify claims made on LPA NVD/Waybills.

The extent of record keeping and reporting is an individual business choice, however, good record keeping will help ensure that productivity and profitability are being maximised.