New pasturefed certifications expected to roll out within weeks

The first Australian beef producers to receive the new pasturefed certification, Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS) are said to be released within the coming weeks.

The announcement was made at a PCAS workshop in South Australia last week as initial ‘trial’ audits of early producer applicants to the program have now been conducted, as reported by Beef Central.

“The only reason the producers involved have not yet become officially certified is that those trial audits only happened last week,” said Angela Schuster, PCAS program coordinator.

“As part of that process, we are collectively getting together and reviewing the outcomes from that first series of trial audits, to make sure everything is working as it should.”

Once the processes have been finalised, Schuster says that the first of the certifications will start to be issued and she hopes for that to take place within the coming weeks.

An early adopter of the program, Teys Australia is said to have plans to market their existing ‘grasslands’ brand beef with the PCAS certification from 1 August, providing the certifications have been issued.

“PCAS was obviously very, very pleased with the attendance at the first workshop held last week, and the response received from producers,” Mrs Schuster said.

“It shows that this program really does have application, throughout Australia, for those interested in a certified grassfed beef program. It’s not just a southern or northern program, but will have application in most parts of the country,” she said.

The main elements of the PCAS standards require that cattle:

  • Identification and lifetime traceability: Cattle must be individually identified and retain a Lifetime Traceable status on the National Livestock Identification System Database
  • No confinement for the purpose of intensive feeding for production
  • Pasturefed only: Implementations have been made to ensure that cattle have never been fed separated grain or grain by-products and have access to graze pasture with an eligible diet
  • Minimum eating quality standards (on-farm): On-farm systems have been implemented to ensure cattle are eligible to be accompanied by a Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Vendor Declaration.

Another two optional modules of the program include:

  •    Lifetime free from hormonal growth promotants
  •    Lifetime free from antibiotics
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