New LPA Self-Assessment tool on the way

New LPA Self-Assessment tool on the way

04 June 2024
-Min Read

In the coming months, Integrity Systems Company (ISC) through its Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program, will introduce a new Self-Assessment tool as part of its accreditation and re-accreditation process.

The new tool will offer a bespoke experience to significantly improve the learning opportunities available to producers, while only taking around 20 minutes to complete.

A bespoke Self-Assessment tool

Elizabeth Bradley, ISC Manager Quality, Policy and Compliance said the new Self-Assessment tool will help producers identify how on-farm risks relate specifically to their enterprise and then deliver a personalised Recommendations Report to help them better understand and prepare for those risks.

“The current process quizzes producers on their knowledge of the LPA program, while the new tool will prompt them to reflect on their own practices and identify where they sit against the LPA Rules and Standards,” she said. “As producers work through the assessment, a list of recommendations and resources relevant to each question will appear.”

Elizabeth said this would expand producer knowledge beyond simply identifying what a risk is. Instead, the new tool would help them gain a deeper understanding of how specific risks apply to their enterprise.

“At the end of the assessment, the personalised Recommendations Report provides an opportunity for producers to reflect on their current practices and consider whether any changes or improvements are needed.”

The Recommendations Report will also help producers improve or expand their knowledge by suggesting educational opportunities relevant to their needs.

Improved ability to respond to producer need

While the new tool will help producers improve their management of on-farm risk, Elizabeth said it will also deliver valuable insights to help inform LPA’s future compliance priorities.

“The better we understand the profile of our producers, the better the LPA program will be able to respond to their needs and remain relevant to the industry.”

“If we can see on-farm trends emerge then we can tailor our education materials and extension activities in response to the actual needs of producers,” Elizabeth said. “Alternatively, if we see that something in the program is no longer relevant, then we’d need to consider whether a change is needed in the standards.”

Remaining agile to protect future market access

When ISC assumed responsibility for the LPA program in 2017, it responded to consumer sentiment and expanded LPA’s focus to include assurance standards around animal welfare and biosecurity measures.

Elizabeth said the LPA program must continue to evolve in response to the emerging demands of global markets and the consumers they serve.

“Sustainability is one issue that is going to play an increasingly significant role in global market access,” she said. “That extends beyond environmental considerations and encompasses everything from social issues, welfare practices, good governance, business continuity and succession planning.”

In response to this trend, Elizabeth said a new sustainability module leveraging existing tools and systems is being developed.

“While the sustainability module won’t be a mandatory part of the LPA program, it will help producers strengthen their business practices and set themselves apart in an increasingly competitive market,” Elizabeth said.

Australia's sustainability credentials have the potential to be critical to future market access requirements. Elizabeth said the sustainability module is just one way the LPA program is working to anticipate market needs and ensure it has the flexibility to respond rapidly.

For example, deforestation is one aspect of sustainability that’s become increasingly important for many overseas markets in recent years.

“We know the EU is introducing requirements for the red meat industry around sourcing from non-deforested land going forward,” Elizabeth explained.

“We have to stay in front of this issue if we're going to maintain access to those markets and we’re looking at what needs to be done to ensure our integrity systems will be able to provide the necessary assurances when the time comes.”

More information

Learn more about the LPA program.

Learn more about the LPA accreditation process.

Read about the learning opportunities available through the LPA program.