Over the past 12 months, there has been an unfortunate increase in deferrals of pre-arranged and agreed Dairysafe farm audits, as well as delays in responses when contacted to arrange audit times.
Dairysafe understands that everyone is busy, and things don't always go as planned, so changes to confirmed bookings may be necessary, however, we ask accredited producers to please re-consider deferring an audit. We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the majority of farmers (around 80-85%) who complete their audits when scheduled.
Audits are essential for many primary production sectors, as they provide assurance of raw material suitability for processors, local consumers, and importing countries. In the case of dairy farms, audits enable Dairysafe to verify safe and suitable raw milk production and supply. Dairysafe’s primary responsibility is to verify applicable food safety standards are in place throughout the dairy industry in South Australia. To accomplish this, we accredit dairy farms, raw milk transporters, and dairy processors. Additionally, we conduct regular food safety audits to safeguard the reputation of the SA industry against potential risks.
Deferral of audits can potentially impact market access and the reputation of the South Australian dairy industry. Delays and deferrals also impact Dairysafe's operational efficiency and incur additional costs. Our staff require time to prepare, group audits by location, contact accredited producers, and confirm suitable dates. When an audit is deferred or contact cannot be made in a timely manner, these preparations are wasted, and may require an unscheduled re-visit to a region, leading to an inefficient use of resources.
Dairysafe is taking proactive measures to mitigate these effects and to increase awareness. We communicate openly via general communication and our e-news to increase awareness. We have also implemented an automatically generated email that you will receive approximately six weeks prior to your audit. This email prompts accredited producers to prepare and advise all relevant staff members. An internal audit checklist is attached to help. We also encourage you to keep your contact details up to date with Dairysafe, particularly if there is an alternative contact person we should be communicating with for the business.
It's important to note that data collected from audit activities is the basis for market assurance, which directly supports market access for South Australia's dairy industry by verifying that our products and processes are safe and suitable for human consumption. Our activities extend to assisting accredited businesses to resolve issues related to antimicrobial, microbial, or notifiable contaminants, in order to preserve the integrity of SA’s dairy supply chain.
Your assistance in limiting deferrals is appreciated. We hope that better communication and increased awareness of why this is important and who else is impacted, will enable Dairysafe to service the South Australian dairy industry more efficiently and effectively.