Sheep processors push for higher uptake of electronic NVDs

Eric Barker, October 4, 2021

33.5pc of sheep and cattle consignments between January and August this year have been sent with an eNVD. Image – MLA.










LIVESTOCK processors across the country are pushing for a higher uptake of electronic National Vendor Declarations, saying too much time is wasted fixing up paper NVDs.

TFI’s Paul Leonard

The red meat Integrity Systems Company overhauled the way National Vendor Declarations are done last year, with eNVDs replacing the eDEC system. The company says 33.5 percent of the consignments sold between and January and August this year used the new electronic system.

Several multi-site sheep and cattle processors have told Sheep Central they would like to see more vendors using eNVD, with compliance officers spending up to half their day, everyday, fixing hard copies.

Thomas Foods International was one of the companies supporting the push. National livestock manager Paul Leonard said with the NVD being a legal document, it needed to be done properly.

The paperwork these days is non-negotiable, we need to have it done correctly or we can’t kill

“The paperwork these days is non-negotiable, we need to have it done correctly or we can’t kill and that’s out of our hands,” Mr Leonard said.

“We do have staff on the ground who spend quite a lot of time trying to sort out NVDs.”

Calls for agents to drive eNVDs

The latest conversation about eNVDs was kicked off last month by Australian Lamb Company livestock manager Ben Verrall in an “Elders Update” interview with Sheep Central store stock specialist Murray Arnel.

Ben Verrall

Mr Verrall said there needed to industry-wide push for more vendors to use eNVDs, with companies like the Victorian processor taking up too much time fixing hard copies.

“We don’t seem to be able to pick up that baton and run with it as an industry,” Mr Verrall said.

“I haven’t seen a big push for eNVDs lately and I think we really need push it.

“It’s probably the agents who need to drive it because they’re on the front line speaking to the vendors.”

Mr Verrall said the best eNVD systems were forms vendors could not submit without filling it in properly.

“It’s like a date of birth on an airline ticket, if you don’t fill it in you can’t submit it,” he said.

eNVD being updated

Agents and the Integrity Systems Company (ISC) say several factors are stopping a higher uptake of eNVDs – including poor connectivity and, in some cases, struggles with digital literacy.

Jo Quigley

ISC chief operating officer Jo Quigley said the organisation was looking at updating the eNVD system to account for some of these problems.

“We’re working on a mechanism enabling consignments to be created offline,” Ms Quigley said.

“Quite often producers won’t know exactly how many animals are being loaded onto the truck until they’re down in the yards – which is often out of phone and internet service.

“There could be a mobile application being used in that situation.”

Ms Quigley said eNVD adoption was on the increase, but like the processors, ISC would like to see more vendors using it.

“There is an opportunity for us to continue to encourage that adoption, right through the supply chain,” she said.

“We would like to see our feedlots, saleyards and processors all set up and receiving the consignments digitally.”








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  1. Adam Price, October 7, 2021

    I have provided feedback through email and again today by phone at what a half-baked website the Integrity Systems Company runs. Surely our livestock levies can fund a better platform than what is currently being used? I live 20kms from the second largest regional town in South Australia and connectivity is a major issue. I would rather use a fully electronic system, but it is simply just not an option yet.

  2. Natasha Wing, October 5, 2021

    Obviously the compliance officers are following up with producers to have NVDs amended rather than ‘fixing them’, but I would like to know what the issues are when it comes to incorrectly completed NVDs. eNVDs don’t stop people entering the wrong consignment address etc, so how about some feedback to producers in regards to what errors are occurring.

    I agree that 100 percent paperless will increase uptake, but paper NVDs never ‘crash’ at loading time.

  3. Geoff Bilney, October 5, 2021

    What is needed is a totally paperless system. The current eNVD is a half pregnant system. If you don’t know how many livestock are going, who the truck driver is, what the truck registration is or if the truckie believes your count printed on the form is incorrect, all of these must be corrected on the NLIS database and done so within 48 hours.
    Until the truck driver can sign on the screen of my tablet, I can text or Bluetooth to his phone if there is no signal, and have the ability to email to as many people as I want the completed NVD when back in reception, then the plain old paper form is pretty good.

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