Establishing a fit-for-purpose traceability system in wool chain

Wool-3Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia has released the final report of the Commonwealth funded Traceability in the Australian wool and sheep industry project.

The project was funded as part of the Traceability Grants Program, which supports the governments Modernising Agricultural Trade Agenda.

The release of the report comes after an industry-wide briefing conducted by WoolProducers on 13 December, outlining key findings and recommendations.

WoolProducers General Manager Adam Dawes said the report makes 14 recommendations, including eight priority recommendations that fall under the four key elements of a traceability system, those being:

• identification of the source

• identification of the product;

• a mechanism to record movement of the product; and

• widespread engagement.”

“An additional four recommendations were also made to assist with implementation of the recommendations and further enhance the proposed traceability system”. Mr Dawes said.

During the project, a total of 105 people from 65 organisations were interviewed to ensure that the recommendations were fit for purpose and provide the best chance of industry ownership and support of the proposed recommendations.

Mr Dawes said, “It is important to note these recommendations are not WoolProducers’ recommendations, they are independent and have been made in the interests of establishing a fit-for-purpose traceability system to meet both the biosecurity and provenance requirements of our industry”.

The release of the final report is not the final step of this project, rather it is the beginning of the implementation of an industry-wide traceability system.

Mr Dawes said, “WoolProducers are aware that if this is to be a success that all industry organisations, including service providers must make changes to how they are currently doing business to implement this traceability system”.

“We will work with all industry bodies to facilitate these changes but make it clear that it is our expectation that these organisations enter these discussions with an open mind”

“The reality is that we as an industry must have an effective traceability system for both commercial and regulatory reasons, if we are not proactive in this space, either government or third-parties, such as QA providers will set the agenda for us which may result in additional costs and a system that is fit for their purpose(s), not ours”. Mr Dawes said

WoolProducers would like to thank Chris Wilcox, David Marland and Andrew Henderson as the consultants who undertook this valuable work, along with all of the industry participants who contributed their time towards the project. Finally, we would also like to thank and acknowledge the Commonwealth for providing the funding.

A copy of the report can be found on the WoolProducers Australia website

 -Wool Producers