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Instituto Politcnico de Santarm Portugal

Universidade Lusfona de Humanidades e Tecnologias Portugal

Instituto Politcnico de Santarm Portugal

VACQA International Netherlands

Objectives Further to the issues of food safety on dairy farms, Quality Risk Management (QRM) may also help improve economic performance. QRM is based on quality analysis and hazard control, holistically analyzing the farm and all processes involved. Thus it becomes clear that it may be a good solution to keep the farm organized. Within this project we will demonstrate the adaptability of the HACCP concept to dairy farms, how to implement a HACCP-like Quality Risk Management program on a dairy farm using VACQA Internationals web-based SWOT assessment tools for preliminary risk analysis. The evaluation of VACQA International web-based SWOT assessment softwares efficacy and efficiency is also included in this report as a secondary goal. Materials and Methods Eight dairy farms in Portugal were selected to test VACQA Internationals webbased SWOT assessment software, upon an evaluation on its efficacy and efficiency based on a time trial, to determine how long it takes to do a whole SWOT assessment on a dairy farm. The selected farm for the time trial and to develop the QRM manual was the Santarm College of Agriculture Dairy Farm (SCADF), which represents a good model of the conditions of most dairy farms in Portugal. Results The training done on the other seven dairy farms has helped to reduce farm assessment time from an initial seven hours to about three, a great increase in efficiency. The introduction of the data in the VACQA-International website took about ninety minutes, after which the immediate display of the detailed farm evaluation (Strong Points, Weak Points and Items of Particular Attention) accounted for the assessments effectiveness. Results from the experience of different stakeholders (veterinarians; farmer; farm workers) after having worked with the QRM, are expected in late January 2012. Conclusions By reviewing the development of this paper it is clear that, although seemingly laborious, the HACCP concept is perfectly adaptable to individual dairy farms. It is also evident that the implementation of a QRM program of this kind, while preventing quality risks and including the factors related to animal health and wellbeing, will boost production. Given that the implementation of a program of this nature does not require a significant investment, apart from consulting and labor, one may conclude that, when animal health and welfare improves, the dairy farm income will also increase.