Due to the location and history of South Africa, we have an extremely diverse set of products, factories, and processes.  We also have a complex food and export legislative system with different authorities (>6  religious, state and authorised signatories) with overlap between authorities as often we work on similar products and the same locations. Due to our endemic diseases, our rich diversity of wildlife, and animal health system we need to have a systems approach to disease risk mitigation and international trade in animal products. We must therefore focus on commodity-based trade and compartmentalisation if we are to remain internationally relevant when it comes to trade in animal products.

South Africa is busy with a project called LITSSA (Livestock Identification and Traceability System South Africa) which is divided into two main parts.

  1. Identification and traceability of cattle (for now) from birth to abattoir.
  2. Identification and traceability of products from abattoir to export or retail

The Western Cape is developing and piloting ECOS as we have over 160 export factories and experience in many different types of production processes as well as retail export. We are hoping ECOS will become the national system for composite and animal-based products.

South Africa currently has no electronic system, which tracks the movement of animal products, that are to be exported in line with the guidelines of the Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

An electronic data management system – Export Control Office System (ECOS) – is being developed by the Western Cape Government to address these deficiencies and create a platform that supports market access and export certification in line with global standards.

South Africa has a Ecert system that is linked to the plant hub and ECOS will “talk” to the rest of the world via that system to create a unified international view of South African products.


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