Plant and Plant Product Traceability Project

Page last updated: Friday, 25 March 2022 - 1:32pm

The Plant and Plant Product Traceability Project commenced in 2021, and is part of a national initiative to improve traceability within the agricultural sectors. The objective of the Project is to develop a system to meet national and international traceability requirements for commercially produced plants and plant products across all major Western Australian plant sectors. The Western Australian Government is working with relevant industries, interstate governments, and the Australian Government to achieve this outcome.

What is traceability?

Traceability can have a variety of meanings to different people and groups. Simply, traceability is the ability to follow something from its place of origin to its final destination, with information on all the stops in between. The National Traceability Framework: Enhancing Australia’s world-class agricultural traceability systems, refers to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand definition of traceability; that is ‘the ability to track any food/fibre through all stages of production, processing and distribution (including importation and at retail)’ (FSANZ 2017). However this definition is specific to food. The Plant and Plant Product Traceability Project encompasses all commercially produced plant and plant products.

Provenance is often associated with traceability, and sometimes they are thought to be the same. However, provenance is the origin of something, meaning where it was grown or created. Traceability is its movement from its initial location through the supply chain.

Importance of traceability

Drivers of plant and plant product traceability include food safety, provenance, biosecurity, market access and marketability. Poor traceability can lead to broader impacts during food safety or biosecurity incidences. If it is unclear where a biosecurity or food safety threat originated from, more of the industry and/or supply chain could be impacted. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development recognises there are a number of voluntary and regulatory traceability requirements for different industries. The Project is focused on ensuring all commercial plant and plant product industries have fit for purpose traceability systems. The Project is focused on traceability in the event of a biosecurity emergency.

Current activities

  • Stakeholder Reference Group: The Plant and Plant Product Traceability Stakeholder Reference Group has representatives from the major WA plant industries and was established to provide advice to the Project with industry perspective.
  • The Testing Traceability Systems Grant Program is currently open for applications.
  • Public consultation will be undertaken on a draft traceability system.

Further information

If you would like any additional information on the Plant and Plant Product Traceability Project, please email traceability@dpird.wa.gov.au