Dairy RegTech is an initiative of Dairy Food Safety Victoria and the Victorian dairy industry to provide greater assurance in the safety of Victoria’s dairy food.

This new approach uses food safety data and measures the ongoing food safety culture within dairy businesses.

“Compliance activities have previously been heavily reliant on traditional methods of verifying compliance, i.e., on-site audits and looking at documentation, monitoring records and procedures” Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV) said.

“This existing audit-based compliance model continues to serve the industry and consumers well. However, current audits measure a point in time, and do not measure food safety performance of businesses across the year. As well, the audits do not factor in the impact of human behaviours, one of the strongest drivers of food safety performance.”

Dairy RegTech delivers an alternate model for DFSV’s compliance services. It:

  • Uses digital technology to streamline regular reporting and communication between DFSV and manufacturing licensees;
  • Makes results and individualised insights against industry benchmarks more accessible through a dashboard of reports;
  • Enables DFSV to more regularly verify food safety processes are sound; and
  • Measures behaviours related to food safety within a business and identifies areas to strengthen the food safety culture.

The Dairy RegTech initiative builds on existing capability using data already collected by industry and DFSV’s existing knowledge gained through auditing. It is extending DFSV’s business processes to capture and analyse data, for example, benchmarking and trending. It also uses the opportunities that digital technology provides by streamlining data collection and analysis.

The Pilot Project

A pilot program (Dairy RegTech 2022) with 10 manufacturers in Victoria (representing 67% of the state’s milk production) began in November 2018 and finished in March 2020. This allowed DFSV and the industry participants to build, test and recalibrate the information collection, analysis and reporting systems to inform the rollout of Dairy RegTech, which is on track for late 2020.

The process starts with a letter of commitment; stage 1 is a food safety culture assessment and the commencement of data submission at an agreed upon frequency; stage 2 reviews the findings and the site establishes an culture action plan; and stage 3 is a tailored audit and ongoing engagement and support with their culture action plan.

The food safety culture assessment, a key feature of the alternative compliance model, focuses on vision and mission; people; adaptability; consistency; and hazard and risk awareness. The assessment provides information about a business’ commitment to food safety and the priority it places on promoting behaviours which focus on food safety.

From late 2020, manufacturers can apply to DFSV to transition to the Dairy RegTech model. Workshops with farmers and manufacturers began in February 2020 to discuss the potential of on-farm use of Dairy RegTech elements.

Read about the results of the Victorian pilot project here: https://www.dairysafe.vic.gov.au/dairyregtech2022