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Pork Industry Leads With Electronic Traceability

Fri, 24 Sep 2004

Pork Industry Leads With Electronic Traceability System

The New Zealand Pork Industry Board has created a technological first for New Zealand agriculture with the launch of the first electronic Animal Status Declaration in the New Zealand in this country.

The launch has been timed to coincide with the law change on 1st October making it mandatory under the Animal Products (Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption) Notice 2004 for suppliers of pigs to processing plants to complete a signed statement to the primary processor on presentation of the animal.

Until now the Animal Status Declaration for Pigs (ASDP) has operated on a voluntary basis, following its development and implementation by the Board 18 months ago. Traditionally the New Zealand pork industry has been domestically focused and has not been required to provide the trace-back required of other meat exporting sectors.

The New Zealand Pork Industry Board took the initiative and developed the ASD for pigs in order to provide the consumer with information relating to how when and where New Zealand Pork is produced. The Board's Chief Executive, Angus Davidson, said producers are aware that this is the sort of information that consumers are demanding and that 100% New Zealand Pork now has a very distinct advantage over the imported product being brought into this country which is not able to provide any assurances regarding production techniques.

"Consequently we had a phenomenal uptake of the original ASD that was introduced last year and we have now trialled and are launching an electronic version which will do away with an enormous amount of paperwork and provide instant information on the status of the pig back through the various production stages," he said.

"We are very pleased with the trials to date and have had some extremely positive feed back from all sectors of the supply chain," he added.

Chris Hull, Site Manager at Landmeat Ltd, Wanganui, endorses Davidson's comments saying the electronic Animal Status Declaration is a great asset for the industry.

"The use of the Animal Status Declaration in an electronic format no doubt assists traceability and traceability means a safer product for the consumer," he says.

He points out that one of the main advantages of the electronic Animal Status Declaration is the fact that only one person, usually the owner of the stock, can sign off the Declaration and this eliminates any possible abuse of the system what can occur with a paper version.

Angus Davidson says the Board is confident there will be a very good up-take of the electronic version as more and more producers are utilising computer based programmes to run their businesses. As is the case with the paper ASD forms we developed (which are identical) the Declaration is very straight forward and user friendly and will ultimately save producers a huge amount of time and effort," he said.

ENDS

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