Accreditation

Also see:

The National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS)

NFAS is an industry-driven scheme of self-regulation, based on quality assurance. The scheme has been developed, managed and administered by the Feedlot Industry Accreditation Committee (FLIAC), with AUS-MEAT providing the frontline operational support.

Accreditation under the scheme requires the involvement of qualified Quality Assurance (QA) Officers (minimum of one officer for feedlots with capacities not greater than 1000 head, more with larger operations).

QA Officers must have successfully completed an AUS-MEAT approved QA course.

Feedlots become accredited when their individual QA manuals, which explain how the operation will comply with the appropriate codes of practice, have been prepared, audited and accepted by AUS-MEAT on behalf of the NFAS.

The three codes of practice, under which accredited feedlots must operate, are:

  1. The former Standing Committee on Agriculture (now Standing Committee on Agriculture & Resource Management, or SCARM) Report No. 39: Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals — CATTLE. Note that certain sections of this code have been superseded by the Australian Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cattle in Beef Feedlots, as explained in SCARM Report No. 47: National Guidelines for Beef Cattle Feedlots in Australia, second edition, 1997.
  2. Australian Veterinary Association’s Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Veterinary Chemicals on Farms (as amended or superseded).
  3. Australian Lot Feeders Association’s Code of Practice for the Protection of the Environment (as amended or superseded). In February 1998, the most recent information about the requirements for protection of the environment was published in the National Guidelines for Beef Cattle Feedlots in Australia, second edition, 1997, which is Standing Committee on Agriculture & Resource Management Report No. 47. A revised code will be released by ALFA later in 1998.

At the time of writing, export beef can only be identified as ‘grain-fed’ or ‘lotfed’ if the cattle involved were sourced from an NFAS Accredited Feedlot and were accompanied by valid NFAS delivery dockets.

While this restriction does not apply to all domestic product, certain major operators will only pay a grain-fed premium for product from cattle sourced from NFAS Accredited Feedlots.

Requirements of the accreditation scheme regarding time on feed, and ration quality, are discussed in Chapter 1 - Budgeting.

Further information about accreditation is available on the AUS-MEAT toll-free help line 1800 621 903.

Independently of feedlot accreditation, cattle breeders have the option of implementing the CATTLECARE quality assurance scheme.