Farmers welcome listening ear on industry concerns over mandated traceability

NSW Farmers has thanked the state government for listening to industry concerns around mandated traceability reforms following the announcement of a new scheme to provide discounted eID tags to sheep and goat farmers in NSW.

Today NSW Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty announced a new eID tag discount program for NSW producers, with a 76 cent-per-tag discount available for eligible sheep and goat eID tags purchased from 1 November 2024 until 31 October 2025, or until funding is exhausted.

NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said the discount program had come as a positive step forward for producers in the transition to electronic identification for sheep and goats.

“It is the governments who mandated this traceability system, and so they must have plans to properly support producers with transitioning to the required systems,” Mr Martin said.

“We have made it very clear that we will only continue to support these traceability reforms if tag costs are reduced to economically viable levels, and we are pleased to hear the state government has stepped up to the plate and listened to our policies on this.

“While there is further detail in this scheme we need to unpack and understand, there is no doubt that today’s announcement is a step forward in support for sheep and goat producers in NSW.

“However, there is a still a long road ahead for traceability reform, and the state and federal governments must continue to ensure there is sufficient and suitable funding for all producers in NSW, all the way through this transition, if this scheme is to truly be successful and harmonized.”

With just eight months until eID becomes mandatory for sheep and goats in NSW, Mr Martin urged both the state and federal governments to continue to explore all available options to ensure that national traceability can be achieved without excessive imposts and costs for sheep and goat producers.

“In 2022, NSW Farmers determined nine principles required for this scheme to be effective, and today’s announcement is the latest of our principles to be actioned by government following our ongoing advocacy,” Mr Martin said.

“It’s time now for governments to step up once again and use all the options available to them to ensure farmers can successfully transition through these traceability reforms and keep our high-quality produce available on tables both in Australia and overseas.

“This means more funding for tags is required in the forthcoming state and federal budgets, as well as the incorporation of tag-free pathways for animals moving directly from their property of birth to slaughter.

“We’re calling for longevity, for continuity and for support – and while this funding is a start, it must not be the end.”

-NSW Farmers