SPA July Update

The latest updates from the last month in sheep. 

CEO Update

Senate Enquiry: Definitions of meat and other animal products
SPA has been at the forefront of supporting this enquiry, as the boundaries are being pushed by those organisations that are not only looking to introduce a new technology but associate themselves with individuals and organisations who have stated goals of ending livestock production.

It’s important that our sector work as a collective to ensure that the brand associated with Australian lamb is protected from the mislabelling of plant based or synthetic proteins. We are encouraging producers to send in a letter expressing their views. Here's a sample letter you may like to edit and details on how to submit your submission as follows:

1. Email your submission to the committee secretariat at:
2. Submit online
3. We encourage you to send a copy of your submission to your local state and federal MPs (as jurisdictional support from all levels is required to enact labelling reform).

SPA is working on a submission that we will make available to our members in advance of the new deadline for submissions – 13th August 2021. SPA will focus on the fact that sheep producers have contributed heavily in levy payments to the marketing and branding of lamb in Australia. Anyone selling a product with lamb, or the image of a lamb, on the label, is taking a free ride on the sheep producers back. Sheep production in Australia is100% Australian and contributes tremendously to the economies of regional Australia as opposed to the plant based proteins, that rely heavily on imported soy.

We are also waiting on some data from MLA, which should be available soon, that will show the consumer insights on confusion in labelling. This has been one of the main reasons for the delay in completing our submission, but we will be happy to forward the details as they become available.

SPA Policy Council
Applications for Policy Council Members and the Chair have been received, and the selection process has commenced, with SPA utilising the Board Selection Committee (made up of SFO representatives) to make recommendations to the SPA Board for the positions. We are looking forward to welcoming new Policy Council Members and making preparations for the first meeting of the Council. 

The final meetings of the four SPA Policy Committees provided an opportunity to ensure ongoing action points and issues are carried forward into the new Council, as well as industry priorities that need SPA’s focus in the next 12 months agreed upon. This will form the basis of the first agenda for the newly formed SPA Policy Council.

UN Food Systems Summit
Like anyone involved in the meat production supply chain, there are very serious concerns around the formation of this Summit, and a seemingly very anti-meat agenda. From the material available the expectation is that recommendations will flow from this summit will include:

-    A reduction in livestock numbers as the best way to reduce green-house gases
-    Dietary guidelines that allow for a very small allocation of red meat as well as dairy products

SPA is supportive of all bodies that are concerned that the Summit is being led by vegan activists who are using EAT Lancet as a primary reference point. We will be following up with RMAC to ensure there are many voices that question the credibility of this Summit and relay their concerns to the Federal Government.

Accelerated Adoption Initiative draws to a close
With the completion of the Accelerated Adoption Initiative at the end of June 2021, ISC reinstated fees for LPA products and services on 1 July 2021, which coincided with the launch of MLA’s new catalogue of services through myMLA. From today (1 July 2021), MLA and ISC will be reinstating fees for core integrity services. Pricing will be:
•    Three-year LPA accreditation/reaccreditation fee ($90 + GST)
•    LPA NVD hard copy books ($55+ GST for 10 forms, $65 + GST for 20 forms).
•    a new combined LPA/MSA Vendor Declaration Book option will be available for MSA registered producers ($55 + GST for 10 LPA NVDs and 10 MSA declarations).
•    MLA members will receive a 50% discount for BeefUp forums, MeatUp forums and Livestock Advisor Updates.
Where producers are using the eNVD (or opt to go digital when they sign up to LPA), they will receive a $30 discount on their LPA reaccreditation. Please click here for the details regarding these changes. 

Stephen Crisp

SPA Now Recruiting for Board Positions

Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) is the Peak National Industry Body for the Australian Sheep Meat Industry. Based in Canberra, our purpose is to be a strategic leader working to benefit Australia’s sheep industry to achieve a productive, profitable, and sustainable future. Our vision is to be a trusted influencer, leader, and advisor for Australian sheep producers, industry, and government.

SPA is governed by a skills-based board, comprised of a minimum of four and a maximum of seven member-elected Board Directors and up to two Board-appointed Independent Directors.

Independent Chair
The Board is seeking applications from candidates with demonstrated experience in two or more of the following areas:
•    Board Chair experience
•    Skills as listed in Board Directors below
•    Full details are here 

Board Directors
The Board is seeking applications from candidates with demonstrated experience in two or more of the following areas:
•    Practical farming knowledge and experience
•    An understanding of the challenges facing the Australian Sheep Industry & value chain
•    Strong farming and/or Industry networks knowledge
•    Good strategic thinking and analysis skills
•    Experience in managing organisations
•    Strong governance knowledge and skills
•    A passion to help the industry prosper in the future
•    Full details are here 

Have Your Say - Consultations

Feasibility and benefits of using DNA for traceability within the red meat industry
Australia's reputation for high quality beef and lamb makes it a big target for counterfeit and substitution in global markets. The challenge is to identify ways that red meat can be tested at any point in global supply chains to verify its origins. 

Genomic technology (techniques of genetics and molecular biology to the genetic mapping and DNA sequencing of sets of genes or the complete genomes of individual animals) is evolving at a rapid pace. DNA sequencing has applications that might offer benefits along the value chain, such as testing for the purposes of red meat traceability. However, it is currently unclear how the Australian industry could leverage a system where potentially every animal in a supply chain, or even in the entire industry, is genotyped.  

The University of New England (AGBU/Animal Science) is conducting a project to scope out the feasibility and cost-benefit of a DNA-based traceability system for the Australian sheep and beef cattle industries.

The online survey to collect a range of responses that will inform the team of elements that impact feasibility, desired outcomes from traceability, likely cost benefit analysis using DNA as well as potential barriers to implementation of DNA technologies for traceability.  Responses collected within the online survey will be anonymous. The survey should take around 20-25 minutes to complete.

Please click here to start the survey.

Monthly Poll - Business and Industry Leadership
With the turning of the new financial year, SPA is setting the direction for 2021-22. SPA would like your opinion to guide the direction of the professional development programs on offer this year. Complete the quick 3 question quiz to help lead the way for industry.
What Business and Leadership Skills would help you the most?

Drought Resilience Leadership and Mentoring Programs 

The Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders Program is seeking farmers from across Australia to participate in initiatives designed to strengthen the future of regional communities through capacity building and collaboration.

•    Are you a farmer or rural professional interested in connecting with others to share your experience and knowledge to support the resilience and growth of individuals, farming operations, the agriculture sector and communities?
•    Be part of a national network of mentees and mentors committed to enhancing drought and climate resilience in farming enterprises and communities for the future.

Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program  
Be part of a national network of mentors and mentees, sharing knowledge and learning from others to support and strengthen the agriculture sector and regional Australia. 

 Seeking Mentees:
• A farmer or person seeking to enter farming 
• Has identified a personal or professional goal that could be achieved with guidance from a mentor 
• Reside in or have links to an agriculture-based community

Seeking Mentors:
• A farmer, drought or climate specialist or other industry stakeholder 
• Passionate about minimising the impacts of drought 
• Willing to share their knowledge and support other farmers 

Find out more or Apply here for the Mentoring Program. Applications close 31 August 2021.

Drought Resilience Leadership Training Program |
This course builds leadership skills to benefit the resilience of drought affected regions. 
a national network of leaders equipped to meet the challenges of the future. This also offers participants access to additional Community Extension Grants. 

Programs will be offered in these 12 regions:
• Goulburn Valley Vic – Now Open
• Central West Qld
• Northern Wheatbelt WA 
• Gascoyne- Murchison WA 
• Mallee Vic 
• South West Qld 
• Eyre Peninsula – West SA 
• Murray Lands SA 
• Western NSW 
• North West Slopes & Plains NSW 
• Katherine region NT
• North East Tas
Find out more here for the Leadership Program. Applications close Sunday 29 August 2021.

Industry Events

This Foot issues in sheep
11 Aug 2021 08:00pm - 09:00pm AEST

As a wet winter approaches producers will be monitoring for signs of lameness in their flock. Professor Bruce Allworth will be taking the audience through what the different types of foot issues are and how to prevent and treat them to minimise production losses. Presenter: Bruce Allworth, CSU
Register here

Ag Excellence Forum - A Climate of Opportunity in Ag 
9 August 2021 8:15am - 5:00pm DST (SA) 

Highlighting opportunities to achieve a carbon neutral future.
Breakout Sessions include: Becoming Carbon Neutral with Livestock
Register here

Livestock Production Assurance … what it means for you on-farm 
Part 1: 10 Aug 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm AEST - Register Here
Part 2: 17 Aug 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm AEST - Register Here

Do you need practical tips to help you spend less time in the office to complete your red meat integrity system requirements? Integrity Systems Company (ISC) free webinar series are here. This webinar is ideal for anyone in the supply chain seeking an overview of the red meat integrity system – from producers wanting a refresher, people new to the livestock industry and small producers and hobby farmers.
It is expected that information provided in the webinar will lead to an increased understanding of the value of the red meat integrity system and the requirements for producers and will lead to greater compliance.

Farm Fit Ewe workshop
17 August 2021 Yelarbon, Queensland

Get up to speed on the latest in breeding, feeding and management to get the most out of your sheep enterprise. The Farm Fit Ewes workshop consists of Stay Fit, Fed Fit, Bred Fit and Run Fit. The is a free event. 
Register Here

Industry Training

Meat & Livestock Australia has launched their latest online training package on Vaccinations in sheep flocks.

The program includes: 
•    understand the different types of vaccines
•    know how to handle and store vaccines
•    understand the factors influencing the decision to vaccinate your flock
•    have an understanding of the common diseases in sheep
•    be able to identify the vaccines currently available for sheep. 

Register Here

SPA has moved to a new office

SPA New Contact Details
Office: Level 2, Burns Centre, 28 National Circuit, Forrest ACT 2603
Mail: PO Box 4225, Manuka ACT 2603
Phone: 02 6103 0838  

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Sheep Producers Australia · PO Box 4225 · Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 · Australia