Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Breakthrough service champions farm-to-fork traceability

April 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Livestock

A new Livestock Information Service set to give farmers and processors better information about animals and their movements has been heralded as a major breakthrough for the sector.

Due to be operational from 2019, the government says the new service will highlight UK farm-to-fork traceability – demonstrating British agriculture’s credentials as a world leader in food production.

The new system will identify and track livestock movements via electronic identification. Initially in place for dairy cows, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, it will also mean the industry and government will be better-placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

A consortium of industry representatives – including farm leaders and livestock organisations – have had significant input into the design and development of the service through a partnership called the Traceability Design User Group (TDUG).

Working together

Defra secretary Michael Gove said members of the TDUG group had worked together worked on the project for the past year. The new system would now be created and formally launched next year, he explained.

Mr Gove said the service would be instrumental in providing guarantees about food origin. “Working hand-in-hand with industry, we will design and implement a service that puts food safety, animal health and welfare and environmental enhancement at its core,” he said.

Public and private stakeholders in the meat and livestock sectors are at the heart of this work. NFU President Minette Batters said the new system was a great example of what could be achieved when the government and industry worked together.

Everyone wins

“I feel that this is totally transformational, underpinning our reputation in producing some of the best meat and livestock products in the world. It’s a win for government, a win for team agriculture and, most of all, it’s a win for the consumer.”

TDUG chairman and west Norfolk farmer John Cross said the system showed that government and industry ambitions are aligned in understanding the need for and benefits of a single digital multi-species livestock traceability and information service.

“The best use of proven modern technology will make it simple for farmers, food chain companies and government to use the service and reap the benefits of shared data that will put the UK livestock industry on the front foot as a global trading partner.”

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