Property Identification Reforms

Australia’s agricultural and food traceability systems are currently the focus of a number of pieces of work, including reforms to property identification arrangements. This work is looking at opportunities to enhance Australia’s traceability arrangements across animal, plant and food industries.

This helps us:

  • manage pest and disease outbreaks
  • manage food safety, trade and market access requirements
  • address consumer interest in product sustainability, ethics and providence.

Submit your feedback

You can now provide feedback on the draft livestock and plant sector principles and business rules. These have been developed by a working group comprising of all state and territory governments and the Commonwealth.

We would like to know:

  • how the proposed changes will affect your specific industry?
  • how we can minimise disruptions, including integrating with existing or planned systems?
  • what points in the supply chain need a property identifier?
    1. These reforms are considering the following types of properties to be included:
      • Farms/producers
      • Wholesale and retail nurseries
      • Packing sheds
      • Stock food manufacturers
      • Distributions centres
      • Food businesses (excluding hospitality businesses)
      • Show grounds
      • Farmers markets
      • Treatment facilities
      • Export facilities
      • Plant and livestock research facilities
      • Travelling stock routes
      • Feedlots
      • Saleyards
      • Holding yards/transit centres
      • Equine holding facilities
      • Exhibited animal premises
      • Pounds
      • Knackeries
      • Stock agents
      • Cattle sale operators
      • Abattoirs
      • Meat processors
    2. Properties that store processed food products or manufacture food products from processed food inputs (ie do not use raw inputs) will not require a property identifier.
  • how to improve system compliance.

If you are part of the supply chain, we want to hear from you.

Take the survey now. Submit your feedback by 1 November 2019.

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Property identifiers

A property identifier (or property identification code) is the basis of a traceability system.

State or territory governments currently issue them to properties with livestock. The Victorian government also issues them for vineyards over 0.5 ha or properties with more than 20 chestnut trees.

What are the proposed changes?

The proposed changes will also result in property identifiers being issued for properties involved in the major plant production sectors, including properties that are part of the supply chain.

A rigorous and consistent approach to identifying properties involved in animal and major plant production, processing and distribution is a key building block to develop a robust traceability system. As a result, all governments have committed to deliver nationally harmonised property identification arrangements across the sectors. This involves agreeing on a set of principles and business rules by the end of 2019 with necessary legislative changes in place by the end of 2022. The proposed reforms to property identification arrangements will:

  • help to ensure we continue to meet the increasing expectations of consumers, both domestic and overseas, and importing countries;
  • in the event of a biosecurity or food safety incident, support swift and targeted action while minimising business disruption to those unaffected or uninvolved; and
  • see regulatory requirements operating alongside/supporting industry tracing systems and needs, avoiding unnecessary costs.

Following this a property identifier will be mandatory for properties used for keeping livestock and/or growing plants, and within the supply chain for domestic use and/or export.

Stakeholder engagement

We will work with industry groups (and their members) on design and implementation. We want to minimise the effect on existing arrangements and resourcing.

We will be engaging stakeholders through industry and government forums. This includes national and state and territory-level industry committee meetings and biosecurity roundtables.

Principles for a unique property identifier

These draft principles are the basis for any changes to property identification arrangements. The business rules will provide further detail.

  1. There will be a consistent property identification approach across animal (livestock) and plant industries, to the extent practicable.
  2. A property will consist of one or more contiguous parcel(s) of land operated as a single business under the same ownership/management arrangement.             
  3. There is to be a unique property identifier establishing the physical location of the property
  4. An area of land comprising a property should be defined by a unique geospatial identifier
  5. A property identifier will be mandatory for properties used for:
    • Keeping livestock
    • growing/propagating plants
    • within the supply chain for domestic consumption or export.
  6. Property identifier data must include property owner and contact details; property street address; the type(s) of enterprise(s) being conducted; plant products on property; associated enterprise ownership details; pest and disease status 
  7. Data is to be updated regularly
  8. In the event of a biosecurity/food safety emergency, the property identifier, and associated data, is to be shared to the maximum amount permitted, consistent with privacy legislation, amongst the Commonwealth, states, territories, research laboratories and industry, as appropriate
  9. The property identifier and associated data is to be provided to, and integrate with, plant traceability arrangements, and export certification
  10. Governance arrangements that identify roles and responsibilities of system participants and ensure consistency of implementation are to be established. This will include the Australian Government, state and territory governments and industry.