Friday, 14 October, 2016
It’s my pleasure to present the President’s Report for the operation of the National Saleyards Quality Assurance program for the past 12 months.
During the past 12 months the Committee has conducted an extensive review of the NSQA National Standards which apart from cosmetic changes have not been reviewed in depths for some years.
We engaged Hugh Millar and Associates Pty Ltd to head up this review. Many of you will know the principal, Dr Hugh Millar, a former Chief Veterinary Officer of Victoria and Manager Biosecurity with a background in AQIS before joining the Victorian department some years back.
The review also included a meeting of stakeholders which gave the opportunity for not only Members but also the agency, transport and agro political groups to make comment on the current National Standard and suggest measures needed to comply with today’s operations.
The review also coincided with the adoption of National land transport, animal welfare and associated biosecurity issues which have all been incorporated into the revised National Standard.
We submitted the revised National Standard to Agriculture Victoria for re-endorsement under the Livestock Management Act (LMA) and to SAFEMEAT for an industry endorsement aimed at giving the program added strength and recognition. The new National Standard has been endorsed under LMA but although signs are encouraging, it appears SAFEMEAT to date does not have a true mechanism to provide such endorsements.
We would have been in a position to ‘sign off’ the new National Standard at today’s Committee meeting but the announcement last month to implement compulsory RFID for lambs in Victoria will need further adjustment of the National Standard to accommodate this requirement. Again Dr Millar has been asked to provide the wording within the Standard
Once this is done we plan to distribute the National Standard to members, along with other documents developed (for example the No Name Saleyard Quality Manual and the National Stock Standstill pro-forma developed by the LSAV).
One significant change to the National Standard is the removal of the Certificate Two provisions. In the period this provision operated we did not gain any new Memberships or have any Member make application to use the provision to rain a level of accreditation. The nearest we came was when Casterton Saleyard submitted for audit and was found to be at a level to achieve full Accreditation.
Another significant change is using the National Standard as a base for extended Internal Audit immediately prior to the annual Accreditation Audit. This is aimed to significantly reduce the time an AUSMEAT Auditor needs to be at your saleyard to conduct annual audits which in turn will also significantly reduce the cost of audits. Your Committee is working hard to have this system implemented in the near future. Trials of the system are being undertaken and I hope the system can be fully implemented in coming months.
I would like to thank all those who have assisted and participated in the National Standard Review.
I should mention at this point that the Committee is pleased to see a reduction in CAR’s for reoccurring issues but there are still too many CAR’s for small things like display of current Terms and Conditions of Sale, Internal Audits and failure to maintain training records.
An issue which also took some time during the year was monitoring the SAFEMEAT Initiatives Review. I thank in particular John Wyld, and the Chair of SAFEMEAT Steve Bailey for their liaison on matters surrounding this matter, in itself a driving force to have conducted the NSQA National Standard review.
When travelling to Brisbane to meet with AUSMEAT earlier this year the Executive Officer and I took the opportunity present the Accreditation Certificate to Warwick Saleyards. We also took the opportunity to visit the Silverdale Saleyards. I was also invited to speak at the LSAV/now ALSA Saleyard Manager’s Forum and to AUSMEAT Auditors at their annual conference on issues surrounding the new audit process I mentioned earlier.
Visits to Members are important and any opportunity we have should be taken. A good opportunity to interact with other industry organisations is provided through the Victorian Livestock Industry Consultative Committee (LICC) to which the Executive Officer is invited to attend.
I am pleased to see the confidence expressed in the Committee with its re-election at today’s meeting. We have a job to finish with the review of the National Standard but also the task of encouraging and maintaining accreditation levels in the Nation’s saleyards. I thank the Committee for its work along with the Executive Officer during the year.
Ian O’Loan OAM