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B.C. farmers, food processors upgrading tracking systems

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February 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm - Home, MyChilliwackNews
By MyChilliwackNews Editor

Twenty B.C. farmers and food processors are receiving support from the federal and provincial governments to upgrade equipment that tracks animal and product movement.

Traceability plays a significant role in protecting animal health, public health and food safety, and improves emergency planning and response.

The equipment upgrades include software and e-tools that monitor, trace and automatically update databases to track when animals or products arrive and depart farms, or transit to processing and distribution centres.

The 20 farms and businesses receiving funding produce, process and handle foods such as bell peppers, grapes, cherries, organic greens, pork, sheep, seafood, egg and meat products, as well as salad dressings, fruit juice, crepes, breads and pastries. These companies operate on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and in the Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenays.

The new equipment will track individual animals or food products on their journey along the supply chain, from farm to table. If a problem occurs and product recalls are needed, this information can help limit economic, social and environmental impacts, protect brand reputation and maintain market access for businesses and the sector.

Funding for these projects was provided through a new $313,500 allocation to traceability programs in November 2019. This increase brings the total program funding in B.C. to about $1.75 million since January 2018.

The traceability programs were oversubscribed in 2019, and the new funding ensures that all B.C. farmers and ranchers whose applications met the requirements in previous intake periods will receive support. The next round of applications for the new funding is now open.

Traceability programs are supported by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agrifood and agri-based product sector.

Quotes:

Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food –

“The Government of Canada is pleased to see so many farmers and food processors take advantage of the funding available to improve their traceability systems. Support through this program helps to further strengthen food safety from farm to table, and maintain trust and confidence in Canadian food products, both at home and abroad.”  

Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture –

“When emergencies happen on the farm, the effects can be devastating for both farmers and consumers. Helping farmers and ranchers update their technology to better trace their products as they move from farm to plate quickens responses when they are needed and supports B.C.’s resilient food supply.”  

Learn More:

For information on traceability programs, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/food-safety/traceability

June 2018 news release announcing the Traceability Knowledge Transfer program:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018AGRI0038-001100

November 2018 news release announcing the Livestock Tag Reader Rebate program:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018AGRI0090-002274

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