Auditing of lot feeding operations under the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) now covers the industry’s newest certified product, Grain Fed Finished (GFF) beef, at roughly 30 GFF-ready sites.
As a natural complement to Grain Fed (GF) and Grain Fed Young (GFYG) beef, the two components of lot feeding’s established premium longfed range, GFF requires that cattle spend at least 35 days on feed (of which 28 or more must be on a predominantly grain-based diet) and satisfy the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) program’s grading requirements.
The Australian red meat industry body AUS-MEAT provides independent, third-party auditing services to the NFAS. AUS-MEAT’s role includes ensuring systems are in place and being followed to support adherence to the 35-day minimum feed regime, alongside all original animal welfare, environmental stewardship and food safety features of the scheme.
The NFAS was founded in 1995 as the quality management system that underpins the integrity of Australian grain-fed beef as a safe and responsibly-farmed beef offering.
Every year, all 400-plus NFAS-accredited feedlots are audited.
AUS-MEAT has been a key player in the new GFF Standard’s rollout.
GFF was launched on 1 September this year and by the third week of October AUS-MEAT CEO Ian King said “an encouraging number of lot feeders” had placed orders for the updated version of the paperwork which would in time allow them to consign GFF-eligible cattle.
“AUS-MEAT is not aware whether any animals have been processed as GFF at this stage. However, we have supplied revised NFAS delivery documentation, as the essential declaration, to approximately 30 feedlots to date,” Mr King said in late October.
That figure represents just under eight per cent of the scheme’s total members.
“Rations must have an average metabolisable energy content greater than 10 megajoules per kilogram of dry matter,” Mr King said.