LPA QA

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Background

 

The LPA On-Farm Quality Assurance (QA) program, incorporating the Cattlecare and Flockcare programs represents the second tier (Level 2) of the LPA framework.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance means being able to assure customers that you can produce a quality product to meet their specifications the same way every time. It is the customers who define quality.

A quality assurance system involves:

· putting in place documented procedures which identify the methods for carrying out each key production task;

· recording the results of those actions;

· checking that the results conform to expectations; and

· implementing corrective and preventive actions on all identified problems, to stop identified problems occurring again

Once a business starts down the quality assurance pathway, it is logical that they will want the assurance that their suppliers also have in place systems to ensure the quality and consistency of their products.

In terms of the red meat industry, livestock producers are those suppliers, with customers requiring the assurance that the food products that we supply are produced under a quality assured management system.

The Standards that underpin the LPA On-Farm Quality Assurance (LPA QA) program are based on risk management and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) principles. The LPA QA Standards have been developed to provide a framework for producers to be able to readily adopt quality assurance systems on their properties.

The Cattlecare and Flockcare logos and the quality systems that they represent are widely recognised.

Integral to all quality assurance programs is an auditing component. Through the audit and accreditation process, producers can demonstrate with confidence to domestic and overseas customers that the quality systems they have introduced on-farm meet the stringent quality standards represented by the Cattlecare and Flockcare logos.

Ultimately, customers purchasing LPA QA accredited livestock under either the Cattlecare and/or Flockcare logos have the confidence that the product will meet their requirements.

Note: Livestock producers have to be fully accredited in LPA Level 1 (or Food Safety Management) to participate in LPA QA.

The Cattlecare and Flockcare programs were initially developed by the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) and the Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA). Since the introduction of the LPA Food Safety program, Cattlecare and Flockcare have been incorporated into the grass fed industry's LPA QA program.

Consistent with this change is that the LPA QA program is managed by the LPA Advisory Committee (LPAAC), being the same Committee that is responsible for management of the LPA Food Safety program.

 

Future Direction

Following a strategic review of the LPA On-Farm Quality Assurance (LPA QA) program, it was identified that the delivery of a more flexible on-farm quality assurance framework may assist producers in responding to market demands through the implementation of a QA system that better meets their specific business requirements.
During 2010, a new initiative called AgriSure was developed based on a framework that supports the implementation of optional modules, and a 'one-farm, one-audit' model.  While the AgriSure standards and rules have been developed, the program will not be rolled out until there is demand for the creation and use of optional modules in the field.

Until the AgriSure program has been finalised, producers involved in the LPA QA program (incorporating CATTLECARE and FLOCKCARE) should continue to operate as usual.

More information will be provided as the modifications to the standard continue.


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