The compliance rate at audits of farms and processors in early 2021 continues to trend positively.

And while the frequency of minor non-conformances identified at farm audits is higher this year (1.78 per audit) than in 2020 (1.11 per audit), this is still below the levels identified in 2018 and 2019.

Non-conformance rates reduced overall in 2020 compared with 2019, particularly minor non-conformance levels. Respective non-conformance rates per audit for 2019 versus 2020 were:

  • Minor non-conformances – 1.84 per audit (2019) compared to 1.11 (2020);
  • Major non-conformances – 0.14 per audit (2019) compared to 0.13 (2020); and
  • Critical non-conformances – none recorded in 2019 or 2020.

All major non-conformances raised during 2020 audits were corrected within the specified 30 day period. Note: there is a maximum 30 day close-out period for major non-conformances.

Key trends

Major non-conformances recently trending on farms include dairy premises condition; calibration of thermometers; vendor declarations for feed sources; milk cooling rate; and up to date records.

Major non-conformances trending at dairy processors were mainly around housekeeping and GMP internal audits.

“Businesses can potentially improve their audit outcomes by preparing for the audit in advance and having the necessary documentation organised and close at hand at the time of the audit,” said Geoff Raven, CEO of Dairysafe.

“It’s also good practice to look back over past audits to identify issues or focus areas and make sure you’ve addressed or are addressing any non-conformances.

“Ensure you are familiar with your food safety program and/or HACCP plan. double check all monitoring has been completed and verified and check that your internal audits are up to date.

“Then in terms of first impressions, have everything clean and tidy and ensure all staff are aware of the upcoming audit.”

Joint export audits

The Dairysafe audit team completed 11 export audits in tandem with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as we head towards taking on responsibility for the audit function at export registered dairy processors from 1 July 2021.