New traceability program to build trust in Australia's food supply chains

Media release
30 June 2020

Australia's food safety systems will be strengthened by the delivery of a new national implementation program to help track and trace food products from farm to fork in domestic and export markets.

The industry-led program, co-designed by Deakin University's Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL), includes an Australian-first Implementing Food Traceability Guide, plus product specific guides and industry demonstrations that will enable greater visibility along the entire food supply chain.

Dr Hermione Parsons, Industry Professor and Director of CSCL, said the program would help supply chains achieve end-to-end traceability and lift capability across the sector from small producers and food manufacturers to large-scale enterprises.

"This package is about building national consistency and integrity into Australia’s food traceability systems," Dr Parsons said.

'It will ensure industry can better respond to product recalls and will give consumers greater certainty about the source of the products they buy.

"The framework was co-designed in CSCL Food Traceability Lab, a partnership of the private sector, peak industry bodies and government agencies, and gives stakeholders across an agrifood supply chain product visibility and the ability to share relevant product and event data with others along the chain.

"Food suppliers will be able to trace back and authenticate genuine product as supplied and enable regulators to confirm that correct information relating to a product has been entered into border clearance and compliance processes and platforms," Dr Parsons said.

Ram Akella, Business Partner at Woolworths Group, said they were pleased to be supporting the National Food Traceability Program.

“As the product passes through the supply chain, whether it be an animal, plant, grain or grocery item, knowing where the product has been, when and how it was handled, and who was involved is essential to build full product traceability,” Mr Akella said.

“By achieving this, and in parallel complying with the regulatory requirements, it will ensure speed and accuracy when it comes to addressing customer queries, verifying product claims, processing product recalls and maintaining product integrity.

“The launch of the product guide is an important step in supporting Australian businesses in improving product traceability,” Mr Akella said.

The first industry funders of the National Food Traceability Program include Lab members - the MLA’s Integrity Systems Company and the Woolworths Group. GS1 Australia is applying global data standards and is supporting solution providers.

Dr Parsons said the first generic traceability modules relate to On-farm Production and Exporting, and encouraged organisations involved in these activities to have input to these modules commencing in July.

To become an Implementing Food Traceability sponsor, for further information regarding the National Food Traceability Program, or to provide input to the Guide modules, please contact the Program Manager, Rose Elphick-Darling,T: 03 92468810 E: rose.elphickdarling@deakin.edu.au

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