Guelph, ON OnTrace Agri-food Traceability and the Ontario Independent Meat Processors (OIMP) association are collaborating on a pilot project aimed at advancing traceability systems between participants along the meat processing chain. It is the first traceability pilot project between OnTrace and the food processing industry.
The pilot has three objectives: identify the gaps in current traceability practices along the value chain; assess the business value of traceability; and, define a solution or series of solutions for improving processed meat traceability. This initiative is supported through a collaborative agreement between OnTrace and OIMP, which will identify processing facilities in Ontario, adding further value to the Ontario Agri-Food Premises Registry in the event of an animal health emergency or product recall. Ontarios independent meat processors are committed to exploring traceability both as an emergency management and production efficiency tool, said Laurie Nicol, Executive Director, OIMP. This pilot will help us to better understand where some of the technical challenges are in adopting traceability and what the real costs of traceability systems are versus the benefits.
The signed agreement and launch of the pilot is important to OnTrace as we focus on expanding our reach from primary agriculture production to encompass other steps along the food chain. This work will also provide us with first capabilities for a provincial traceability system and a better understanding of the incremental costs associated with traceability, said Brian Sterling, CEO of OnTrace.
Provincially licensed businesses volunteered from across the processed meat supply chain to participate in the pilot. Although technical solutions will be a part of the pilot, there will be a series of other valuable outcomes that OIMP hopes can be applied to the broader meat processing sector. Project results will be shared at the OIMP Industry Advisory Council meeting which runs concurrently with the OIMP Annual Conference in February 2010.
OnTrace is the industry-led not-for-profit corporation created to lead food traceability programs and initiatives in the province of Ontario. The OnTrace Board of Directors is made of senior industry leaders from a cross-section of agriculture and other industry sectors. OnTraces goals are: to deliver traceability solutions that will enable the agriculture and agri-food industry in Ontario to become more innovative and competitive and; to strengthen the capacity of industry and government to respond to emergencies related to agriculture and agri-food welfare and public safety.
OnTrace is located at: 1030 Gordon Street, Suite 202, Guelph, ON N1G 4X5. Our contact coordinates are: Toll Free 1-888-38-TRACE (8-7223) Phone 519.766.9292, Fax 519.766.1313. For further information, visit:www.ontraceagrifood.com
Ontario Independent Meat Processors (OIMP) is the representative voice of the independent meat processor in Ontario, working closely with agricultural and commodity organizations and various levels of government for over 30 years. OIMPs membership includes meat and poultry processors, retailers, wholesalers and suppliers to the industry. The meat sector represents 20% of Ontarios food manufacturing industry, contributing over $6.5 billion to the provinces economy. For more information, visit www.oimp.ca.