British Columbia farmers and food processors upgrading tracking systemsChristian Fernsby ▼ | February 24, 2020
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.
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Topics: British Columbia farm
The equipment upgrades include software and etools 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 in the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Vancouver Island and the 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 funding increase brings the total program funding in B.C. to about $1.75 million since January 2018.
The traceability programs were over-subscribed 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, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agrifood and agri-based products sector. ■