Affco tests Web system to track certificates

Affco is trialling a system for generating and keeping track of certificates required by the Ministry of Agriculture when moving meat around New Zealand.

Affco information services general manager Stephen Saunders says it’s a collaboration of “intellectual property” between Affco and MAF to develop a solution based around an Internet Web server, and accessed through the Internet.

Affco has been running a pilot for “proof of concept” for about six weeks. The prototype does not yet have a name.

Saunders says that to move meat within New Zealand, you need to have a certificate.

“Each of the pieces of product you’re moving — either in boxes or cartons — has to be uniquely identified on this document, and it is very time-consuming, not only to generate but to get right and get signed by the MAF quality guys on plant.”

He says while the current system is fairly straightforward, it does take time.

“And when you’re moving meat you want to move it today, because you want to ship it tomorrow.”

The new system generates the required certificates itself and forwards them via the Internet to MAF for approval.

Saunders says the MAF Web site will be used, assuming Affco is assured it is “residing behind the necessary firewall, etc”.

“It seems to be at this stage the most appropriate place to have it.”

“What we’re doing is putting in the intelligence at the front end so the flow and generation of this can be semi-automatic, and then the MAF people ultimately will audit the engine and have maximum confidence in the information that’s been coming out — or will come out — of the system.”

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