Our current agricultural traceability systems have recently been assessed and found to be meeting current needs. This project is about enhancing our traceability systems for the future.
The Agriculture Senior Officials Committee (AGSOC) National Traceability Project involves two stages:
Stage 1 commenced in November 2017. It assessed the current state of the Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, across most agricultural commodities, and reviewed global drivers for the future.
Stage 2 commenced in October 2018. It involves the development of a National Traceability Framework and Action Plan for enhancing Australia’s agricultural traceability systems.
Developing a national traceability framework
The second stage of the project is underway.
In the second stage, the working group, in consultation with industry, is developing:
- a National Traceability Framework
- an Action Plan to put the framework in place.
Have Your Say
Consultation has now closed.
We sought feedback on the action plan template and the National Traceability Framework.
The Traceability Working Group is considering your feedback.
A summary of the consultation process is available on our Have Your Say page.
Agricultural industries will work closely with the Traceability Working Group to populate the action plan template. The final version will be published on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ website in due course.
Register in Have Your Say for updates.
What is traceability?
Traceability is the ability to follow the movement of a product through stages of production, processing and distribution (ISO 2007).1
Australia’s agricultural traceability systems include all government regulation and industry arrangements that enable tracing of agricultural production and products, back and forward along entire supply chains. At each step in the supply chain, participants should be able to trace one step forward and one step back.
Why is traceability important?
Consumers and trading partners want to know more about the products they buy. Including information about:
- food safety
- animal and plant pest and disease status
- social matters such as sustainability, and animal welfare practices.
Good traceability supports claims made about food.
Australia has a reputation for exporting safe products that meet importing country requirements, and producing safe food for domestic supply.
This project will further enhance the integrity of our systems.
Many Australian agricultural producers and exporters already realise the commercial benefits of enhancing traceability. It improves competitiveness and provides assurance for customers.
Traceability Working Group
A cross-jurisdictional Traceability Working Group, led by the Commonwealth, with membership from the states and territories, is developing a national approach to Australia’s traceability systems. Members of the Traceability Working Group are listed below.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is supporting the Working Group as the Secretariat and the point of contact for stakeholders.
| Chair||Ms Ann McDonald||Assistant Secretary, Trade and Market Access Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources|
| Australian Government||Ms Jo Laduzko||Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity Policy & Response, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources|
| New South Wales||Dr David Cusack||Manager, Food Standards and Programs|
NSW Food Authority, NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity and Food Safety
| Victoria||Ms Deb Langford||Director, Market Access, Agriculture, Food and Fibre Division|
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
| Queensland||Mr Malcolm Letts||Acting Chief Biosecurity Officer, Biosecurity Queensland|
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
| Western Australia||Dr Peter Gray||Director Livestock Biosecurity|
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
| South Australia||Dr John Virtue||General Manager, Policy, Strategy & Invasive Species, Biosecurity SA, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia|
| Tasmania||Mr Chris Lyall||Manager (Product Integrity), Chief Inspector of Primary Produce Safety, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment|
| Northern Territory||Ms Sarah Corcoran||Executive Director, Biosecurity and Animal Welfare|
Department of Primary Industry and Resources
| Australian Capital Territory||Dr Wendy Townsend||Chief Veterinary Officer, ACT|
Stage 1 – review of current systems
Australia’s traceability systems were reviewed for all agricultural commodities, such as food, animal feed, fibre, and timber.
In the first stage of the review the working group:
- considered the current state of Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, across most agricultural commodities
- took a stocktake of current arrangements
- reviewed global drivers for the future.
Research was mostly desk-based.
Read the Enhancing Australia’s systems for tracing agricultural production and products report of stage 1 findings.
- Our current traceability systems meet our domestic needs and those of our trading partners.
- There are differences in the sophistication of systems between various industries, mostly due to their varying food safety and biosecurity risk, and the market access requirements of trading partners.
- We have an opportunity to enhance our traceability systems to ensure we are prepared for any future changes in requirements, and also to provide all of our exporters with a competitive advantage.
Stage 1 is now complete.