Traceability group up and running

The Australian Agricultural Traceability Strategic Reference Group (AATSRG) has now been established to help industry enhance traceability systems, helping to boost Australia’s biosecurity and grow trade relationships.

Under the first ever National Agricultural Traceability Strategy 2023 to 2033, the AATSRG will provide technical, operational, and strategic advice to the Australian Agricultural Traceability Governance Group and other technical working groups.

AATSRG will focus on current and emerging issues, research priorities and implementation approaches for Australia’s agricultural traceability systems.

The group is comprised of government representatives, the private sector, industry and research community including; Australian Wool Exchange, Australian Sugar Milling Council, Australian Meat Industry Council, Seafood Industry Australia, Food Agility CRC, National Farmers’ Federation and CSIRO.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt said agricultural traceability plays a key role in protecting and growing Australian agriculture.

“Agricultural traceability provides the evidence needed to maintain trust as a provider of high-quality, safe and sustainable food and fibre products,” Minister Watt said.

“The faster and more accurately animals are traced, the quicker we can respond and recover from any biosecurity outbreak.

“There are also trade benefits with increasing demand for proof of origin and sustainability for Australian livestock and meat products, so this will help to maintain and develop market access overseas.

“This investment builds upon the already strong traceability frameworks in place that maintain food safety, provenance and biosecurity credentials.

“Australia has a great story to tell and improving our agricultural traceability systems helps us communicate that to the world.”

The announcement builds on the traceability work the Albanese Government has done since being elected last May:

  • $20 million co-investment with the States and Territories on livestock traceability, including eID for sheep and goats.
  • $26.6 million to uplift the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database and its supporting systems.
  • All of Australia’s Agriculture Ministers agreed to and launched the National Traceability Strategy 2023-2033 in July 2023.
  • Establishment of the Sheep and Goat Traceability Task Force (SGTTF).
  • National Agriculture Traceability Grants Program:
    • Sustainability Reporting Uplift Grant Round - $4m in funding through to 2024 to help build the agriculture sector’s data capabilities.
    • Regulatory Research and Insights Grant Round - $6m through 2025, to assist in streamlining compliance across multiple agricultural sectors, commodities and supply chains.
    • Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework Grant Round - $2m in funding to undertake fundamental research and insights into Indigenous agricultural products; and to develop Australia’s first Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework.
    • Data Enabled Proof of Concepts Grant - $5m in funding provided to the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (Food Agility CRC) to lead industry-government projects to test data-enabled traceability concepts.
    • Evidence-based Sustainable Credentials and Next Steps for the Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework (AASF) - $5m in funding provided to the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) to bring industry together to determine how to demonstrate evidence-based sustainability credentials, continue work on the Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework (AASF), and shape international sustainability standards.

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