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MEDIA RELEASE

Wellard’s operations in Vietnam

2 May 2015

Statement from Wellard Chief Operating Officer Fred Troncone:

This month the live export industry agreed on a six point plan to ensure ESCAS-compliance and animal welfare in Vietnam. This six point plan was derived from the minimum standards Wellard had implemented at all facilities within its Vietnamese supply chain.

The requirement for beefed-up protocols originated from observations noted by some of Wellard’s in-country animal welfare observers. For the past four years Wellard has invested in animal welfare observers to monitor supply chains and provide reports back to Wellard in various markets such as  Indonesia, Vietnam and various Middle Eastern countries, so that animal welfare outcomes are optimised.

Some of our customers also directly employ their own animal welfare observers to perform a similar function.

This is a crucial role to assess the level of ESCAS compliance at facilities in our existing supply chain and also facilities we are contemplating adding to our supply chain. Any issues that are discovered are dealt with immediately.

The work these people do is well known in our sector because if our animal welfare observers note potential issues with facilities or animals that we believe belong to another exporter’s supply chain we can’t and don’t turn a blind eye to it. Instead we immediately inform those exporters, not the Federal Government, so the exporter can immediately seek to rectify the issue and because it’s the right thing to do by the sheep or cattle. Wellard believes this is good for the long-term sustainability of the industry and in the best interest of Australian producers. The individual exporter, not Wellard, decides whether to self-report to the Federal Department of Agriculture.

This course of action is easily verified by the Department of Agriculture’s ESCAS compliance website. In the past two years all notifications of potential ESCAS breaches in Vietnam have been self-reported by exporters except one, which was a complaint by a member of the public made in June 2013 against a new customer supplied by Wellard. That customer received one shipment only from Wellard and has not been supplied since.

There have been occasions when other exporters’ staff have informed Wellard of potential supply chain issues and we have been able to immediately address the issue and where appropriate self report the issue to the Department of Agriculture. We hope and expect this will continue and invite any exporter who has any evidence to bring it to our attention because it is good animal welfare practice.

Every livestock exporter must be the guardian of animal welfare because individually and collectively we are also the guardians of the future of the live export industry and the farmers and the associated industries that rely on it.

 

For further information please contact:

Cameron Morse

Phone: + 61 8 9485 8888

Mobile: +61 (0) 433 886 871

Website: www.wellard.com.au