Aug 20, 2021
Velvet buyers, agents and packhouses from across the country are now familiar with the hand scanners they will be using to scan VelTrak tagged deer velvet this season.
DINZ marketing manager Rhys Griffiths says there were five buyer meetings held in July at which participants practised scanning and raising farm Velvet Status Declarations (VSDs). Almost everyone who will be using a scanner in the 2021/22 season attended.
“There was a great atmosphere generally at the meetings. Most are looking forward to the new season, even if some were understandably a little nervous about using the new technology. We tried to cover all possible scenarios and answer everyone’s questions.”
Griffiths says the scanners, technology and data storage systems used for VelTrak are reported to be very robust. But inevitably, as with all new technology, there could be some minor glitches as everyone gets up to speed with scanning, raising and approving VSDs.
“I ask farmers to bear with buyers as they get up to speed, particularly at the early stages. Before long it will become second nature to them. Farmers should also have confidence that once sticks have been scanned, the tag data is securely stored in the scanner.”
VelTrak has been developed for the deer industry so that its velvet complies with the requirements of New Zealand and overseas regulators for rapid and accurate traceability of animal-based food products. This is its core function, but VelTrak has been designed so that it can be developed to add value to marketing campaigns in the future.
Griffiths says VelTrak has also been welcomed by major health food companies in South Korea that are buying an increasing proportion of our velvet.
“It’s yet another example of deer industry innovation and our commitment to quality assurance,” he says.
DINZ QA general manager, Rob Gregory, says all deer farmers must be registered with VelTrak and be using the new black VelTrak UHF RFID tags in order to sell their velvet, starting this season.
“All deer farms have been emailed invitations to register. While most have done so, a significant number have yet to respond. I urge them to do so now or, if they don’t use email or can’t find the invitation, ring us on Freephone 0508 VELTRAK (0508 835 872) and we’ll help them sort it out.”
Gregory says there are also a number of deer farmers who have registered, but have not completed the process. In particular, they have failed to select a vet practice.
“Selecting a vet practice is vital. When a farmer selects a preferred practice, their farm name appears in that practice’s list of clients. This enables the practice to order VelTrak tags on the farm’s behalf. If the farm hasn’t selected a vet practice, it won’t be able to get any black VelTrak tags.”
If a farmer is unsure whether or not they have done this, they should log on to https://veltrak.velvet.org.nz complete the information requested under ‘Business details’ and save their changes. Their chosen vet will then be able to supply them with tags.