Below is a glossary of terminology common to the meat and livestock supply chain industry. Below this glossary are links to other industry sector specific glossaries.

RMSCC Glossary

Term Abbreviation Authority Description Supply
Chain Data
Body/ Program
Livestock Processing Distribution/ Export/ Retail
Practice of letting livestock or other animals graze on a pasture without selling the animals to the owner of that pasture, instead paying the landowner for the amount of time or a portion of the animals selling price.
Animal Health Australia AHA Oversaw the development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.
Type of medicine used to treat worms in cattle, such as roundworms and tapeworms.
Application Identifier AI Numbers that are placed at the start of a data section in a barcode and EPC/RFID. Application identifiers help identify the purpose and format of the section.
Application Programming Interface API
A type of software or computer interface that allows other programs to talk to each other. An API is software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. APIs are an accessible way to extract and share data within and across organisations.
AUS-MEAT Limited AUS-MEAT Not-for-profit industry owned company. Oversees standards relating to the red meat industry's trade language specifications and usage.
Australian Business Number ABN The Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier issued by the Australian Business Register (ABR) which is operated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ABN was introduced on 1 July 2000 as part of a major tax reform, which included the introduction of a GST. The law requires each entity that carries on a business in Australia has an ABN and that the ABN appear on each tax invoice and other tax related documents issued by the entity.
Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association ALRTA Peak body representing road transport businesses that carry livestock in the agricultural supply chain.
Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System AAWSC An independently audited certification program used by livestock processors to demonstrate compliance with the industry best practice animal welfare standards.
Australian Lot Feeders Association ALFA Peak national body representing the Australian cattle feedlot industry.
Australian Meat Industry Council AMIC The Australian red meat industry's peak body for Retail, Processing and Smallgoods Industry Groups.
Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee AMILSC Oversees and endorses standards for AUS-MEAT and other organisations in the meat industry.
Australian Meat Processor Corporation AMPC The R&D Corporation for the Australian red meat industry, as established in the industry's Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding.
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority APVMA The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the Australian Government regulator of agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemical products, established in 1993 to centralise the registration of all agvet chemical products into the Australian marketplace. For an agvet chemical product to legally be manufactured, imported, supplied, sold or used in Australia, it must be registered by the APVMA – unless exempt by the Agvet Code. Our registration process involves scientifically evaluating the safety and efficacy (effectiveness) of a product in order to protect Australia's trade and the health and safety of people, animals and the environment.
Bill Of Lading BoL
A Bill of Lading is a document issued by a Carrier (somebody who transports and delivers goods) to a Shipper (someone who supplies and/or owns the goods – also known as a Consignor), confirming goods were received in an acceptable condition and are ready to be shipped. Those goods will then be delivered by the carrier to a Consignee (meaning the person who bought the goods in the first place). A Bill of Lading (BoL) means essentially a contract of carriage between the Shipper, Consignee, and Carrier stating the terms and conditions of carriage. The ‘Carrier’ is the only company that can issue the Bill of Lading. When transporting by sea freight, the carrier can refer to the Shipping Line (Vessel Operating Common Carrier) or an NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) also known as a Freight Forwarder (although not all Freight Forwarders are NVOCC’s). Bills of lading are normally provided to: 1. The shipper; 2. A broker, freight forwarder or a third party managing customs; and 3. The consignee – this is the person who purchased the goods in the first place.
Bobby Calve
Newborn calves, less than 30 days old, that are born to cows in the dairy industry that are separated from the mothers.
BREEDPLAN An optional program for beef cattle breeders that genetically evaluates animals in their herd.
Bureau of International Containers BIC BIC has published the BIC Code Register since 1970 and was appointed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1972 as the industry’s global container prefix registry– a role further endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) through requirements in the Customs Conventions on Containers and the Istanbul Convention. The BIC Code database is consulted thousands of times daily throughout the world.
Carrier (transporter)
Commercial entity that transports livestock or finished goods (carcases, meat, meat products, co-products and by-products). This entity may be a shipping line, trucking company, airline, rail company or any combinations of these transport modes.
Cattle Australia CA
The national peak body for the grass-fed cattle industry representing the interests of all Australian cattle producers.
Cattle Council of Australia CCA The peak national body for Australian Beef producers. The formerly the peak national body representing Australian Beef producers and replaced by Cattle Australia (CA) in November 2022.
Chain Number Chain The physical machinery that carcases are attached to in a meat processor. Meat processing plants can order their production around the chains, with each chain potentially having a different livestock species for each one. the Chain Number links to NLIS data and production data.
Check digit A number in a GS1 barcode at the end of an ID Key, used to verify the ID Key's accuracy.
Co products
Any product that is processed alongside the traditional cuts of meat in an abattoir or meat processor. Typically used for offal, but can include other products such as hides.
Code-128 A barcode symbology standard.
Consignee (buyer, importer, importer of record, receiver)
A Consignee (buyer, importer, importer of record, receiver) the entity that is taking legal ownership of the goods transacted between parties. The terms Consignee has special meaning for a Bill of Lading.
Critical Tracking Event CTE
A point in a supply chain where a product is transferred or transformed. This point requires critical information to be gathered about the event, termed Key Data Elements.
Data Consumer
Term used to identify the party that accesses data in an data (electronic) format. This may be via an Application programming Interface (API) email or other formats. The Data Consumer may be a second party that legally or contractually has access to the data as it directly concern the Data Consumer. Or the Data Consumer may be a third party that accesses the data on behalf of the second party.
Data Provider
Term used to identify the party that provides data in an data (electronic) format. This may be via an Application Programming Interface (API) email or other formats. The Data Provider may be a first party that created or collected the data and made it available, or may be a third party that provides the data on an industry service or contractual basis.
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment DAWE A department in the Australian Federal government.
Digital Container Shipping Association DCSA Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is a nonprofit, independent organisation established in 2019 by several of the largest container shipping companies. DCSA’s mission is to be the de facto standards body for the industry, setting the technological foundation for interoperable IT solutions. Together with our member carriers, DCSA creates vendor-neutral, technology-agnostic, standards for IT and non-competitive business practices. By working towards the widespread adoption of these standards, our aim is to move the industry forward in terms of customer experience, efficiency, collaboration, innovation and respect for the environment.
EANCOM EANCOM GS1 EANCOM® is a GS1 subset of the UN/EDIFACT standard (United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport). It contains only the message elements required by business applications and mandated by the syntax. Omitted are optional elements not relevant for GS1 users. GS1 EANCOM brings together the GS1 standards that identify trade items with logistics units and Global Location Numbers (GLNs) that show information about your trading partners.
eDEC An electronic version of the LPA NVD form. Is being superseded by the eNVD system.
Electronic Bill of Lading eBL An eBL is an electronic record which replicates the three traditional functions of a Bill of Lading issued on paper: it is a receipt for the goods; it is one of the evidences of the contract of carriage and can be a negotiable document of title. An eBL wears the same legal status, terms & conditions and functionalities as a paper-based Bill of Lading and generates the same rights.
Electronic Data Interchange EDI
A message format that allows electronic messages to transfer from one computer to another without human interaction.
Electronic Meat Transfer Certificate eMTC An electronic version of an MTC.
Electronic National Vendor Declaration eNVD Electronic version of an LPA NVD.
European Union Cattle Accreditation Scheme EUCAS A voluntary program that producers, saleyard operators, abattoirs and feedlots can opt into. Allows access to sell meat products to EU markets.
Export Meat Industry Advisory Committee EMIAC Consultative body between the red meat industry's Export sector and the Australian Government.
Feed Supplements
Mineral and trace minerals added to feed to help increase intake when cattle are unable to receive it from grass.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand FSANZ A statutory authority that develops standards on food health and safety.
Function 1 Symbol Character
See Function Code 1 (FNC1).
Function Code 1 FNC1 A barcode character that is placed before an Application Identifier in a GS1-128 barcode. It is not visible in the human-readable format of a GS1-128 barcode, but helps signify to a computer or barcode reader that the next section will be some form of an Application Identifier.
Global Data Synchronisation Network GDSN A network of interoperable, internet-accessible data pools that GS1 subscribers can access to obtain data such as GLN’s and GTIN’s.
Global Location Number GLN A GS1 ID Key that identifies legal entities, locations and trading partners.
Global Standards 1 GS1 Not-for-profit member organisation that provides open standards on business communications, including barcodes, electronic messages and RFID tags.
Global Trade Item Number GTIN A GS1 ID Key used to identify objects that are considered to be trade items.
GS1 Company Prefix A unique identification number used in GS1 ID Keys (e.g. GTIN) that identifies a GS1 member organisation or company.
GS1 eCOM Electronic Data Interchange GS1 EANCOM A set of electronic messaging standards covering how to use and transmit GS1 ID Keys.
GS1 ID keys A group of barcode section formats used to identify different things for a business. For example, the GTIN is a GS1 ID Key used to identify an organisation's Trade Items.
GS1 Identification numbers
See GS1 ID Keys.
GS1-128 A subset of the Code-128 barcode standard used by GS1 to represent a range of information in the one barcode, including GS1 ID Keys other types of data.
Harmonized System Code HS Code The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System generally referred to as 'Harmonized System' or simply 'HS' is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). It comprises more than 5,000 commodity groups; each identified by a six digit code, arranged in a legal and logical structure and is supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification. The system is used by more than 200 countries and economies as a basis for their Customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics. Over 98 % of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS. The HS contributes to the harmonization of Customs and trade procedures, and the non-documentary trade data interchange in connection with such procedures, thus reducing the costs related to international trade.
Head (Head on Feed) Head or HOF
A term used on farms, feedlots, saleyards and meat processing and generally means a count of the number of cattle in a herd, mob or lot.
Hormone Growth Promotant HGP
Implants that can cause faster growth, more efficient feed conversation and other benefits. Some markets require HGP for access, while others require animals to be HGP-free.
Integrity Systems Company ISC A wholly-owned subsidiary of MLA that oversees the implementation of red meat integrity system programs, such as NLIS, LPA and NVD.
International Committee for Animal Recording ICAR An NGO that provides guidelines, standards and certification for animal identification, animal recording and animal evaluation.
International Meat Trade Association IMTA A not-for profit organisation that focuses on issues around meat imports, exports and trade both between and to the UK and EU.
Internet of Things Iot
IoT has been defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies. In the context of carriers and the container shipping industry, IoT refers to the concept of connecting sensors and other electronic devices mounted on the shipping containers to the internet and / or local systems. This is done in order to send and receive data to and from the devices for different supply chain purposes and applications.
Key Data Elements KDE
Data or information that is defined as being critical to tracking and tracing a product.
Kill Agenda
Order in which an abattoir or meat processor will slaughter received cattle.
Another term for stunning an animal at slaughter.
Legal Entity Identifier LEI The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20-character, alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It connects to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure and thus answers the questions of 'who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’. Simply put, the publicly available LEI data pool can be regarded as a global directory, which greatly enhances transparency in the global marketplace. The publicly available LEI data pool is a unique key to standardized information on legal entities globally. The data is registered and regularly verified according to protocols and procedures established by the Regulatory Oversight Committee.
Light Margins
White space added to the left and right of a barcode. Each barcode type will have a required minimum amount of space that the light margin needs to fill.
Livestock Agent
Any third party that acts on behalf of an organisation to facilitate a sale.
Livestock Production Assurance LPA A voluntary program that livestock producers can join to prove that their organisation complies with certain animal safety and welfare criteria.
Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration LPA NVD A type of legal document required by businesses that are LPA accredited. Captures information on food safety and treatment status at each point along the supply chain it moves.
Master Air Way Bill Of Lading MAWB
Master Air Way Bills (MAWB’s) are Airline bills of Lading and are generated by the Airline or Freight Forwarders. Master Air Way Bills (MAWB’s) is a non-negotiable transportation document issued by an airline as evidence for the air freight shipment. It is an example of a standard document used for exporting goods and is significant to international trade. The Air Waybill is also known as an air consignment note. It contains information about the consignment, like sender and consignee addresses, commodity details, currency conversion rates, and execution date. This information attributing to the contract of carriage is central to the completion of transporting the freight to the consignee. Air Waybill attributed to the consignment generally follows the structure designed by IATA. The one-page receipt contains relevant information for initiating ad completing the air freight shipment. For example, it comes with an 11-digit unique identification number used to track the status of the consignment. There will be eight copies of AWB for a single order to share with participating entities. The introduction of an electronic AWB eliminates the need for a paper AWB. As a result, there is no longer a need to print, manage, or preserve paper, greatly simplifying the air freight process. Paper AWBs are still accepted, but users commonly use e-AWB nowadays.
Meat & Livestock Australia MLA The industry marketing service provider for the Australian red meat industry.
Meat Messaging Meat Messaging is an industry program administered by AUS-MEAT with program management through an industry committee (RMSCC) comprising representatives from AMIC, AMPC, MLA, AUS-MEAT, DAFF, GS1 and industry members. Meat Messaging has been initially funded through a number of Industry funding arrangements. In 2017 the industry committee agreed, through industry consultation, that Meat Messaging was to be funded through a "Cost Recovery" model based on billing for each message uploaded to Meat Messaging. In 2022 the industry committee published this model which included a proposed time frame and fee structure, along with a process for adjusting the fee structure on a regular basis to maintain Meat Messaging. For more information on the Meat Messaging cost recovery model contact AUS-MEAT on or 1800 621 903.
Meat products
A term used to describe meat after it has been processed by any method, such as cooking, curing, or fermenting.
Meat Standards Australia MSA A standards organisation that sets and defines criteria for assessing red meat quality.
Meat Transfer Certificate MTC Document that accompanies meat and meat products being transferred between export registered establishments.
MSA Vendor Declaration A document covering information related to MSA grading and standards, to be passed between an MSA licensed supplier to an MSA licensed abattoir.
National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme NFAS A quality assurance program managed by AUS-MEAT that covers product integrity, quality and acceptability for the purpose of marketing beef as grain fed.
National Livestock Identification System NLIS An identification and traceability system that assigns a unique identification code to each individual animal. Allows collation of an individual animal’s data as it travels through different properties and businesses over time.
National Vendor Declaration NVD The Livestock Production Assurance NVD communicates the food safety and treatment status of every animal every time it moves between properties, to saleyards or processors. NVDs are a legal document that are key to Australian red meat traceability and market access, and act as movement documentation throughout the value chain.
NFAS Declaration Form
See NFAS Delivery Docket.
NFAS Delivery Docket A type of vendor declaration form carrying information for the fulfillment of the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme. It is required by NFAS accredited feedlots to provide to AUS-MEAT Accredited Processing Establishments.
Another word for the rumen, the first stomach in ruminant animals.
Peak Body
An advocacy group or trade association, often between governments and industry, created around a particular issue that has been decided to have a great importance to those industry sectors. Often they are funded in some degree through the government.
Post Sale Summary
A document given to a buyer after purchase at a saleyard. Contains information on the cattle’s origin, as well as an animal’s food safety, biosecurity or market eligibility status.
Property Identification Code PIC
A unique, eight-digit code used to identify a producer's property for the purpose of tracing which properties individual animals have traveled to and stayed in.
Quiet Zones See Light Margins.
Red Meat Advisory Council RMAC A peak body that acts as an advisory forum between the red meat industry sectors and the Australian Government.
Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding MOU A formal agreement between the Australian Federal government and the meat industry made on the 27th April 1998 that set out the peak industry bodies and funding for the Australian red meat industry.
Red Meat Supply Chain Committee RMSCC The Red Meat Supply Chain Committee (RMSCC) focuses on identification and information technologies and systems, from livestock production through to domestic retailers and international markets. This area of focus is referred to as 'Supply Chain Information Standards'. The role of the RMSCC is to: 1. Providing a path for reporting to the AMILSC on industry program and project activities related to information standards along the red meat supply chain. 2. Providing a path for communication back to government and industry bodies on relevant supply chain information standards, projects, programs, and related activities. 3. Providing coordination, steering and governance support to programs and projects that request such support and only where the programs and projects activities relate to information standards along the red meat supply chain.
SAFEMEAT A consultative partnership between the Australian government and industry representatives that discuss issues relating to food safety and integrity systems.
Serial Shipping Container Code SSCC A GS1 ID Key used to identify logistics units, such as a carton, case or pallet.
Shipper (Producer/ Supplier/ Consignor/ Exporters)
Shipper (someone who supplies and/or owns the goods – also known as a Consignor) maybe a producer, vendors, supplier, consignor or exporter. This term has specific meanings when used with a Bill of Lading.
Shipping Container number A unique identifier of the shipping container used to carry the cargo. The length/type of the sequence can be different for shipper's owned containers. Container number includes a unique serial number (with check digit), the owner, a country code, a size, type and equipment category as well as any operational marks. The standard is managed by the Bureau of International Containers (BIC).
Standard Carrier Alpha Code SCAC
The Standard Carrier Alpha Code, a two-to-four letter identification, is used by the transportation industry to identify freight carriers in computer systems and shipping documents such as Bill of Lading, Freight Bill, Packing List, and Purchase Order. It is also used by the American National Standards Institute, Accredited Standards Committee X12, and United Nations EDIFACT for Electronic Data Interchange computer systems. SCACs are commonly used by the automobile, petroleum, forest products, and chemical industries; as well as suppliers to retail businesses, carriers engaged in railroad piggyback trailers, and ocean container drayage. SCAC is also used to identify an ocean carrier or self-filing party, such as a freight forwarder, for the Automated Manifest System used by US Customs and Border Protection for electronic import customs clearance and for manifest transmission as per the USA's "24 Hours Rule" which requires the carrier to transmit a cargo manifest to US Customs at least 24 hours prior to a vessel's departure at port of loading.
Tropical Beef Content TBC Metric for estimating the percentage of genetics of Bos indicus in cattle. Used in MSA Grading.
United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to locations used in trade and transport with functions such as seaports, rail and road terminals, airports, Postal Exchange Office and border crossing points. The first issue in 1981 contained codes for 8,000 locations. UN/LOCODEs have five characters. The first two letters code a country by the table defined in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. The three remaining characters code a location within that country. Letters are preferred, but if necessary digits 2 through 9 may be used, excluding "0" and "1" to avoid confusion with the letters "O" and "I" respectively. For each country there can be a maximum of 17,576 entries using only letters (26×26×26), or 39,304 entries using letters and digits (34×34×34). For the US, the letter combinations have almost all been exhausted. So in 2006, the Secretariat added 646 entries with a digit as the last character.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe UNECE The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947 by ECOSOC. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. UNECE's major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. UNECE includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia. However, all interested United Nations member States may participate in the work of UNECE. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.
Veterinary Drugs Any type of antibiotic, vaccine or pharmaceutical given to a livestock animal. Recording the administration of a veterinary drug can be important information when proving compliance with animal health and welfare regulations, or meeting market access requirements.
Any form of document that is used as proof of receiving livestock or products for transport or export. Contains information on the sender, their property, and the livestock or product being received (number, weight, identification type, etc.).

Links to glossaries of the standards organisations that relate to the meat industry

GS1 Australia Glossary


MLA Glossary