Meat & Livestock News

Digital NVD Adoption in Australian Cattle Industry: Progress and Challenges

cows on a modern farm eat silage from the feed table.

In the Australian cattle industry, the transition to digital National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) is progressing, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated. Meat & Livestock Australia’s annual report revealed that only 21% of cattle consignments are currently accompanied by digital NVDs, falling short of the 2022-23 target of 40%.

The eNVD Livestock Consignments App

A significant update to the system was made in March with the launch of the Integrity Systems Company’s electronic eNVD Livestock Consignments app. This app aims to streamline the entire process, though it still requires online connectivity for transferring forms to truck drivers and other supply chain members.

Industry Perspectives on Digital Transition

Athol Carter, Central Queensland manager and vice president of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association, was involved in the app’s development. He believes that confusion, rather than the app’s quality, is hindering adoption. Carter suggests renaming the app to something like ‘NVD app’ or ‘digital NVD’ to encourage greater uptake.

Carter also notes the livestock transport industry’s leadership in adopting new technologies, including artificial intelligence. He emphasizes the need for industry collaboration in adopting digital NVDs, highlighting the benefits for processors and feedlots in receiving information ahead of time.

Connectivity Challenges

Richard Golden, a Southern Queensland producer, points out that connectivity remains a significant issue. With only a few of his loading ramps within mobile coverage, the practicality of digital NVDs is limited. He also references the recent Optus outage, illustrating the potential risks of relying solely on digital systems.

ISC’s Encouragement and Future App Upgrades

Jo Quigley, CEO of Integrity Systems Company, acknowledges the challenges but remains optimistic. The eNVD app can transfer NVDs without connectivity using a QR code. Quigley encourages producers to try the app, noting that over 22,000 users have adopted it since its push in March.

ISC is also working on app upgrades to improve functionality and integration with various parties in the NVD ecosystem, such as agents, transporters, and saleyards.

While the shift towards digital NVDs in the Australian cattle industry is underway, it faces challenges such as connectivity issues and industry apprehension. However, with ongoing improvements and industry encouragement, the transition to a more efficient and streamlined digital system continues.