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Leading the Way in Developing Food Traceability

by 5m Editor
26 March 2010, at 10:29a.m.

CANADA - A senior scholar with the University of Manitoba says Canada's livestock industry continues to lead the way in the development of traceabilit, according to Bruce Cochrane.

Traceability is the ability to track an animal or food item from any point in the production and delivery chain either backward or forward.

Dr Ed Tyrchniewicz with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences has co-authored a white paper on behalf of OnTrace Agri-food Traceability which provides a perspective on "The Impact of Traceability on Public Health" and outlines policy recommendations.

Dr Tyrchniewicz observes progress in developing effective food traceability strategies varies according to commodity and nature of production.

Dr Ed Tyrchniewicz-University of Manitoba

The beef industry has actually done a fair bit of work with the Beef Identification Centre and in terms of coming up with systems, ear tagging for example.

Back in the olden days, an ear tag basically said the animal had been immunised against tuberculosis.

Now there's an amazing amount of information that are stored on these.

The real push in this is coming from Quebec where they have a system of ear tags that you just wave a wand past it and you get all kinds of information, so for beef it's really moved very significantly.

For grain, probably not very much happening.

There are certain grading characteristics but because grain is blended it's very very difficult unless one gets into some real black box technology to be able to say this came from Bruce's farm and that came from Ed's farm.

Whereas we can do that with cattle we can't do that with beef.

I think the pork industry is moving a fair ways along and the egg sector.


Dr Tyrchniewicz notes consumers are becoming more interested in where their food comes and in how it's produced.

The White Paper can be viewed by clicking here.