This report marks the 29th year of the operation of National Saleyards Quality Assurance Inc and it is worthwhile reflecting on the fact that it is an organisation put together by industry consultation for the advancement of livestock traceability from farm to processor, a concept well ahead of its time in the 1990s.
The importance of product traceability has suddenly become more important with the demands of our meat export market where up to 70% of Australia’s product is destined and the more eminent threat of FMD and other exotic diseases which has been on our doorstep in Asia for some 20 years.
The NSQA system during this period has been equipping saleyards to have a management system in place which gives the producer and the customer whether it be another producer or processor the certainty that the animal is traceable through the NLIS NVD system
Over the last decade the cattle RFID system has shown its worth, now the Federal minister of Agriculture has achieved agreement to introduce sheep EID, as currently operating in Victoria since 2017, nationally with an indicated commencement date of 2025.
This is a great step in enhancing traceability. However, saleyards will have to make considerable modifications to their structure and recording, thanks to Victoria an efficient system is in place which now can be enhanced. To achieve this nationally a uniform mandatory system with Federal and State funding is required.
It is pleasure to announce that Upper Hunter Saleyard at Scone has recently achieved their NSQA accreditation, and I thank Wayne Williamson, Ausmeat, and Mark McDonald for mentoring their pathway to this achievement.
The new audit requirements for Animal Welfare are being complied with and members have updated their manuals accordingly. The current standard version is dated 2017 with added amendments, there is NO new version.
Saleyard members have been managing their operations well during Covid with entry requirements adhered to and sales continuing, some with added off site electronic bidding.
The livestock industry prices at saleyards continue to be buoyant and the trend forecast is for the market to hold, however supply may become difficult if the current southern Australia flooding continues for any length of time.
Ausmeat have continued to provide their usual high standard of auditing during the past year, working in well with the availability of saleyards and I thank Wayne Williamson in leading the auditor team.
I would also like to thank Mark McDonald for his services to the administration of NSQA and saleyard guidance.
The operation of NSQA would not function if it were not for the assistance of the Board members and I thank them also for their time and contribution in the last year.
With the emphasis on traceability and accountability NSQA demonstrates a real supporting role in the saleyard industry and several members have expressed the benefits of the NSQA system in the last year.
Ian O’Loan OAM