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Pork producers back farm QA requirements

by 5m Editor
7 June 2007, at 8:37am

AUSTRALIA - Australian Pork Limited (APL) CEO Andrew Spencer welcomed the recent announcement by the New South Wales (NSW) Food Authority, that all animals sent for slaughter to NSW domestic abattoirs must be accompanied by a complete and valid National Vendor Declaration (NVD) from 30th June 2007.

The Authority has stated that, for an NVD to be considered valid, under the Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transport of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption (AS4696:2002), animals must be sourced from a property that has been accredited under a recognised, on farm, quality assurance (QA) program. In the case of pigs that would be either PigPass QA or Australian Pork Industry Quality (APIQ).

The announcement is also supported by SAFEMEAT, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) and the NSW Meat Industry Consultative Committee.

Mr Spencer said, currently, processors are generally requiring pigs destined for export to be accompanied by an NVD, linked to an approved farm QA program, as part of their approved arrangements for Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) certification of Australian pork for export.

“The announcement by the NSW Food Authority is also timely, given APL’s recent review of the PigPass NVD and its proposed review of the APIQ Program. These reviews canvass industry advice on how the programs can be more readily adopted by all producers, both large and small.”

Mr Spencer said, at the same time APL is also mindful that this announcement may put pressure on some producers, already hard hit by feed and water shortages brought on by the drought. However, in the long term the industry cannot continue to operate on two levels, having one standard for export product and another for domestic.

“The NVD is a key tool underpinning the food safety reputation of Australian meat. APL strongly supports national adoption of the PigPass NVD for all abattoirs. This will enable the industry to stand by the quality and integrity of its product in all markets."

Pig farmers in NSW who require further information on the PigPass NVD and farm QA programs should speak to their local buyer or contact APL on 1800 789 099 (toll free) or visit the APL website
www.australianpork.com.au

5m Editor