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Livestock Data Link trials & implementation

Project start date: 08 April 2013
Project end date: 30 June 2013
Publication date: 30 June 2013
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle

Summary

Livestock Data Link (LDL) aims to enhance the exchange and utilisation of information by businesses within the red meat industry through the implementation of a national standardised carcase feedback system. LDL is a web based application that links slaughter data from the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), Meat Standards Australia (MSA) and Central Animal Health (CAH) databases with analytical tools, benchmarking reports and Solutions to Feedback. LDL enables supply chain participants to analyse carcase performance in terms of compliance to market specifications, with performance outcomes linked to a library of solutions on how to address non-compliant issues on farm. The following projects have been undertaken:
Project management services
A number of projects covered the cost of a consultant that provided project management services for the Livestock Data Link project including the management and technical assistance for the piloting of the project, the development of functional requirements as the project progressed, project planning and program evaluation, and coordination of the delivery of technical services to ensure that key project milestones were met. Two projects facilitated the piloting of LDL in processing plants in southern Australia, which assisted in linking supplier groups to participating processors and evaluation of the pilots, along with reviewing the Solutions to Feedback library to ensure it remained current.
LDL company managed activities
Company managed activities (CMAs) projects were used to cover the delivery costs of providing support to pre-existing and potential LDL supply chains, and delivering LDL producer training workshops.  The projects covered the costs incurred for travel; IT equipment hire ie, laptops and internet connection; cost of venues and catering; and other equipment or material required for producer workshops.
Review of Livestock Data Link
Livestock Data Link (LDL) was a ground-breaking when the concept was first developed, however adoption has been slower than anticipated. Originally part of the value was seen as having a 'one size fits all' feedback system for industry, has not been appealing for some companies. In addition, LDL has some challenges in terms of its usability and another project is currently being completed that is reviewing the tool to ensure that right level of information is presented in a way that is easy to use.  A project was undertaken to evaluate LDL's current value propositions, logic and integrity perspective; assessed the strategic implications for LDL; and identified several future development options LDL to take in consideration. This coupled with the usability review ensured that LDL is being developed and delivered in the most effective way.
LDL implementation activities
Under project P.PIP.0465 in January 2015, a graduate from Marcus Oldham commenced work with JBS Australia. The graduate played a key role in the implementation of the industries online feedback system Livestock Data Link in all their Southern beef and sheep plants to allow JBS to supply meaningful feedback. Project P.PIP.0502 continued on from the work completed under P.PIP.0465, where a student from Marcus Oldham College completed a 12 month placement with JBS Southern (a division of JBS Australia). The student played a key role in the continuation of implementing, promoting and monitoring LDL across JBS Southern supply chain. 
Wingham Beef Exports (WBE) undertook a Livestock Data Link (LDL) adoption project with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to assist with the increase in compliance along the supply chain. Overall, the LDL rollout to the WBE supply chain was successful, with most producers seeing value from utilising this program. LDL is an important and useful tool for processors and producers. It strengthens relationships between the two parties and captures all of a producer's feedback all in one place.