On-farm compliance is a general term that refers to specific measures that a production system must adapt in order to adhere to standards established by packing plants the farm has contracts with. It is also one way to meet consumer standards and expectations. These standards could involve less antibiotic usage, observing proper antibiotic withdrawal times, no animal products in diets, specific welfare standards like Pork Quality Assurance, or a combination of all these options. Implementing on-farm compliance measures can be expensive but it will be worth the time, money, and effort spent when desired results are achieved.
This article discusses strategies to manage on-farm compliance to help ensure that auditing can go smoothly without any problems.
Ways to Help Manage On-Farm Compliance
There are several ways to help manage on-farm compliance. These include the following:
- Print the standards and place the binder in a specific area in the barn. This provides the farm crew with a tangible source of information that they can refer to at any time. Veterinarians performing site visits can also check the printed standards to make sure that proper procedures are followed on the farm. Having the standards physically available to the people who need it, eliminates confusion and helps reiterate what is essential to maintain compliance.
- Post clear signages showing the standards throughout the facility. For example, this could include signage about using the Danish crossover bench, signage on proper feed coverage in feed bunks, or pictures on common disease symptoms for quicker identification of sick animals. These signages serve as clear visual reminders to everyone involved within the production system and avoid confusion about compliance standards. If employees are confused about these standards, they are less likely to follow them.
- Have the veterinarian or a production system employee conduct audits on the site to serve as practice runs. Evaluating the production system by looking at the same areas that the auditors would be assessing can help eliminate potential surprises during auditing.
- EveryPig has a new feature called Site Visit Reports (SVR). This digital app makes it possible for field managers and veterinarians to electronically fill out an auditing report and streamlining this process to share relevant data with auditors. The app which can work on smartphones, tablets, and computers, allows easy tracking of problems in the farm while keeping site managers up-to-date.
Digital Site Visit Reports (SVR) offer several benefits. It allows farms to:
- Collect Structured Site Visit Data
- Automate Compliance Tracking. It eliminates having to deal with messy compliance paperwork that requires to be collected periodically for each farm.
- Streamline Record Keeping. The app works in conjunction with EveryPig’s daily checkups. This means that if your team reports a failure in compliance, notifications are received by caregivers and farm owners making it possible to promptly fix any existing issue. The app allows easy tracking of problem spots and keeps you up-to-date when these problems are resolved.
- Save money on farm operations while collecting clear and actionable data.
Features of Site Visit Reports (SVR):
- Site managers can review and submit the SVR.
- Customized questions about important aspects of farm management are answered by farm staff. These questions cover:
- Site maintenance
- Feed and water maintenance
- Environmental management
- Animal husbandry
- The SVR is available and can be accessed 24/7 on the SVR section of EveryPig.
- The SVR can be downloaded as a PDF as needed for compliance purposes.
Successful management of on-farm compliance is vital in maintaining contracts with packers. When employees understand thoroughly the standards, they would be able to carry them out easily, and there would be no problems with auditing. Considering that more stringent measures for compliance are now required from producers, a digital electronic program like EveryPig will make it easier and convenient to manage on-farm compliance measures.