Peak wool representative body WoolProducers Australia has been announced as one of 16 recipients of a Traceability Grant from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
WPA will use the funding to undertake a project that seeks to review current traceability systems used throughout the entire wool industry pipeline, identify gaps and weaknesses in traceability, and make recommendations to improve traceability systems for wool.
"Traceability in the wool industry is generally segmented into on-farm, post-farm and overseas supply chain sectors, with each sector using a different system that is disjointed in providing traceability through the supply chain," WPA president Ed Storey said.
"For example, the National Livestock Identification System has been used for many years now on-farm, but Property Identification Codes is a relatively recent addition for wool tracing."
He said the project would assess traceability for several circumstances where the link between the animal and the product was vital, such as emergency animal disease outbreaks, provision of wool specifications for brokers and buyers, or to allow provenance information to be transferred from farm to consumer.
"Independent assessment of existing systems for traceability is key to ensuring that an unbiased review is undertaken so that the most appropriate steps can be followed to build our traceability and provide even greater assurances to our trading partners and customers," he said.
"Once complete, the report will act as the foundation for collaborative work within the wool industry to improve weaknesses in current traceability systems and address gaps that may be identified.
"It is important that the industry works together to build a streamlined, whole of industry system that can help us quickly trace product in the event of a disease outbreak, but also that meets consumer demands relative to sustainability and provenance."
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A total of $4 million was offered under round one of the program, which received 168 applications for projects totalling $90 million, as part of the Modernising Agricultural Trade Agenda and builds on the National Traceability Project.
The project was supported by several industry groups, including grower representative bodies and supply chain organisations involved in post-farm gate activities, who identified the benefits of the project for the Australian sheep and wool industries.
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The story WPA awarded grant to investigate wool's traceability systems first appeared on Farm Online.