National Traceability Project

Meet the critical friends and hear their thoughts on traceability.

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Overview

Australia’s traceability systems are currently under review to better meet future needs.

  • The Agriculture Senior Officials Committee (AGSOC) National Traceability Project involves two stages:
  • Stage 1 commenced in November 2017. It assessed the current state of the Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, across most agricultural commodities, and reviewed global drivers for the future.
  • Stage 2 commenced in October 2018. It involves the development of a National Traceability Framework and Action Plan for enhancing Australia’s agricultural traceability systems.

What is traceability?

Traceability is the ability to follow the movement of a product through stages of production, processing and distribution (ISO 2007).1

Australia’s agricultural traceability systems include all government regulation and industry arrangements that enable tracing of agricultural production and products, back and forward along entire supply chains.  At each step in the supply chain, participants should be able to trace one step forward and one step back.

Why is traceability important?

Consumers and trading partners want to know more about the products they buy. Including information about:

  • food safety
  • animal and plant pest and disease status
  • provenance
  • authenticity
  • social matters such as sustainability, and animal welfare practices.

Good traceability supports claims made about food.

Australia has a reputation for exporting safe products that meet importing country requirements, and producing safe food for domestic supply.

This project will further enhance the integrity of our systems.

Many Australian agricultural producers and exporters already realise the commercial benefits of enhancing traceability. It improves competitiveness and provides assurance for customers.

Traceability Working Group

A cross-jurisdictional Traceability Working Group, led by the Commonwealth, with membership from the states and territories, is developing a national approach to Australia’s traceability systems. Members of the Traceability Working Group are listed below.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is supporting the Working Group as the Secretariat and the point of contact for stakeholders.

Members

ChairMs Ann McDonaldAssistant Secretary, Trade and Market Access Division,  Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Australian GovernmentMs Jo LaduzkoAssistant Secretary, Biosecurity Policy & Response, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
New South WalesDr David CusackManager, Food Standards and Programs
NSW Food Authority, NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity and Food Safety
VictoriaMs Deb LangfordDirector, Market Access, Agriculture, Food and Fibre Division
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
QueenslandMr Malcolm LettsActing Chief Biosecurity Officer, Biosecurity Queensland
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Western AustraliaDr Peter GrayDirector Livestock Biosecurity
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
South AustraliaDr John VirtueGeneral Manager, Policy, Strategy & Invasive Species, Biosecurity SA, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
TasmaniaDr Lloyd KlumppGeneral Manager, Biosecurity Tasmania
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
Northern TerritoryMs Judy D’ErricoSenior Biosecurity Policy Officer
Department of Primary Industry and Resources
Australian Capital TerritoryDr Wendy TownsendChief Veterinary Officer, ACT

Stage 1 – review of current systems

Overview

Australia’s traceability systems were reviewed for all agricultural commodities, such as food, animal feed, fibre, and timber.

In the first stage of the review the working group:

  • considered the current state of Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, across most agricultural commodities
  • took a stocktake of current arrangements
  • reviewed global drivers for the future.

Research was mostly desk-based.

Read the Enhancing Australia’s systems for tracing agricultural production and products report of stage 1 findings.

Findings include:

  • Our current traceability systems meet our domestic needs and those of our trading partners.
  • There are differences in the sophistication of systems between various industries, mostly due to the traditional reasons for traceability.
  • We have an opportunity to enhance our traceability systems to ensure we are prepared for any future changes in requirements, and also to provide all of our exporters with a competitive advantage.

Stage 1 is now complete.

Stage 2 – develop a national framework

The second stage of the project is underway.

In this stage the working group, in consultation with industry, is developing:

  • a National Traceability Framework
  • an action plan to put the framework in place.

Critical friends of the Traceability Project

The National Traceability Project and working group are supported by three industry experts. They have been appointed as critical friends for the Traceability Project.

The critical friends will provide their industry experience and expertise to the project. This will help inform the National Traceability Framework and action plan.

The role of the critical friends includes:

  • participating in working group meetings to stimulate broader thinking
  • engaging with agricultural industries (organisations and companies) to understand their systems—identifying areas for collaboration and links to government systems, drawing out potential road blocks
  • participating in national workshops/meetings that inform the policy development process
  • being available to provide advice to agriculture ministers on the national framework and any associated issues.

The three critical friends for the Traceability project are:

  • Tania Chapman –Chair of the Voice of Horticulture. Tania has been involved in the horticulture industry for many years, including as a citrus grower.
  • David Crombie –beef producer in Southern Queensland. David has been part of the beef industry for many years, including holding office with Meat and Livestock Australia and the National Farmers Federation.
  • Hermione Parsons –Industry Professor and Director of the Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics at Deakin University. Hermione has also worked with the Port of Melbourne and the horticulture industry.

​Get involved

Industry input is critical to the success of this project. It will ensure it is truly an industry-government initiative.

Engagement activities will include:

  • workshops and meetings with key industry bodies and individuals
  • project updates on this page.

Contact

For more information, or to register your interest in this project, please contact Traceability Project

1 International Organization for Standardization – ISO 22005:2007, traceability in the feed and food chain—general principles and basic requirements for system design and implementation

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