Tougher rules to become NAIT accredited

The NAIT accreditation scheme is being relaunched. This means closer scrutiny of saleyard operators, meat processors, and information providers who manage NAIT accounts on behalf of farmers.

We're making changes to our NAIT accreditation programme following a review of the requirements for becoming accredited.

Head of Traceability Kevin Forward says the programme is designed to help strengthen animal traceability and build more farmer confidence with information providers and accredited entities.

He says two years ago, we updated the NAIT accreditation standards for entities that operate as sale yard agents, meat processors or information providers who manage NAIT accounts on behalf of farmers.

'We responded to feedback from farmers and the wider industry following the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak,' Forward said.

'Our intention is to give confidence to farmers that organisations handling and managing their NAIT data have been scrutinised and meet industry-agreed standards, leading to better outcomes for them and the wider industry.'

Forward says an effective animal traceability system relies on accurate records of animals and their movements.

'This underpins disease management and national biosecurity,' he said.

'Ensuring accredited entities are operating in accordance with their NAIT requirements, and following international best practice, is essential for building trust in the system.'

He says OSPRI has designed an accreditation framework that aligns with industry best practice. It is modelled on international accreditation and quality assurance programmes.

'In the next few months, we will be contacting current NAIT-accredited entities to advise them of upcoming audits and what they need to do to retain their NAIT accreditation,' he said.

'We will also be consulting with meat processors, sale yards, and information providers on the rollout of the programme to minimise disruption.

'These changes will potentially have implications for those businesses and operators. If you decide not to renew your accreditation it will be revoked.'

To enable a fair and streamlined process, Forward says all applicants will need to complete and pass an assessment before applying to OSPRI for accreditation. This will allow the opportunity for those seeking accreditation to address any non-conformances that may be raised.

When businesses become NAIT-accredited they are effectively promoting themselves to farmers and the wider industry as a reliable and trusted operator.

'You are also helping farmers; it means less work for them in the office and it may generate more business for you,' he said.

We will update the list of accredited entities and information providers on our website as they are assessed.

Forward says ultimately, traceability best practice is not just the sole responsibility of farmers, the wider supply chain has a role to play too.