The ZQ Merino programme has been developed to provide customers with certainty that product quality, animal welfare and health, environmental, economic and social values are positively addressed.
ZQ Merino growers pride themselves on best practice, and are accredited to ensure the highest on-farm standards with respect to animal welfare, farming practices, and environmental management.
Compliance with the ZQ Merino standards is assessed and audited by trained and qualified third party auditors, who visually inspect sheep, farms and facilities to ensure these are met.
The maintenance of ZQ Merino accreditation is dependent on ongoing compliance. This is determined through a programme of ongoing auditing, including self assessments and on farm auditing.
All ZQ Merino accredited farms are audited every 3-5 years and in addition a random selection are audited annually to ensure that the integrity of the programme is maintained. Some of these audits are conducted by a veterinarian focusing specifically on the animal welfare and health components of the programme.