Jul 8, 2021
There has been a great response from farmers, vets and velvet buyers to the call to register with VelTrak™, says Deer QA manager John Tacon, “A big thanks to all of you who have done this.”
However there is a significant number of farms that are either not registered or have not completed their registration. Until these farms fully register they will be unable to sell their velvet. Registration, including the name of the farm’s vet practice, is required for every farm that wants to sell velvet from the 2021/22 season.
“By early August, vet practices will put in their orders to DINZ for tags, based on the number of stags their clients expect to velvet this season. Farms that aren’t linked to a vet practice on VelTrak will need to register, then wait until tags are ordered and delivered before they can sell their velvet,” says John.
“If you want to sell your velvet as soon as it is harvested, please register now – or give Pam on the helpdesk a call. She has yet to hear a problem or concern that can’t be resolved. She’s there to help, but don’t leave it too late.”
Under VelTrak the role of vets doesn’t change. They will still issue farmers with tags, but from the upcoming season they will be doing it on-line, using the VelTrak website. Farmers will still order tags directly from their vets, the same way they've always done. Veterinary practices will also be charging a fee for the tags, for which DINZ has recommended a retail price of 49c each.
Because the new tags link each stick of velvet from the vet, to the farmer, to the buyer, to the exporter, tags will not be able to be swapped between farms. The whole purpose of VelTrak is to provide this unbroken electronic chain that links individual sticks of velvet to a particular farm.
“In the first VelTrak season, overseas customers will be able to scan the barcode on a black tag and confirm that the stick comes from New Zealand and meets all our strict animal welfare and food hygiene standards. That’s the basic traceability they are looking for,” says DINZ markets manager Rhys Griffiths.
“One or two customers in the markets have already enquired about using VelTrak to link a story of where the velvet comes from – the farm, the farmers and the deer – to their products. Once VelTrak is up and running, this is something which, with appropriate permissions, we could explore. VelTrak has a big potential for building the NZ velvet brand in years to come.”
Tag big spiker and regrowth velvet too
The aim of VelTrak is to provide swift, accurate traceability on our velvet. MPI requires it, in order to meet our regulatory requirements.
“Ideally every stick should be tagged, but that’s not practical with some spiker and regrowth velvet, because the tags would fall off. So our standard practice is to put spiker/regrowth velvet in a polythene bag and to tag the bag,” says John Tacon.
“But if the velvet is branched and a tag can be securely attached to it, from this season please tag it. It’s an insurance policy, designed to ensure that our velvet meets the necessary regulatory requirements.”
Any questions? www.deernz.org/veltrak
To register: Click on the link in the email sent to all deer farms.
Need help? Or no email? Ring 0508 VELTRAK (0508 835 872)
To log-in to VelTrak: www.veltrak.velvet.org.nz