In June 2020, Lactanet Canada and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) announced that DairyTrace, a much-anticipated national dairy cattle traceability program, will be rolled out in the fall of 2020. This program is a framework that allows farmers to not only easily identify their livestock but also track their movements.
In short, anyone who takes care of dairy cattle will have to report the following: animal identity, movement, location, and ownership information. The desired objective of having all this data relay back to one national framework is to promote accountability and transparency. By implementing and managing an efficient data management system, consumers can be 100% confident in Canadian dairy products.
The DairyTrace Program
The DairyTrace program is run by Lactanet Canada in partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Canada. The soon to be created database that will store valuable information for industry value purposes. Creating a strong and stable system with trace-back capabilities not only shows a commitment to food safety but will also help prepare for unforeseen events. It allows for fast and efficient trace-back of animals in the event of a disease or health threat, which can substantially limit the economic, environmental and social impact of emergency situations. It is believed that the program will be fully integrated into the Canadian Dairy sector later this year.
Growing Industry Confidence
Many consumers may be experiencing a natural nervousness surrounding their food due to the recent pandemic. As well as limiting the time spent in grocery shops, consumers are also paying attention to where their food is coming from. Although food traceability has been a growing trend in consumer demand for a while, the heightened security around health and safety over the last few months has led to a new focus on understanding where our food originates. Product transparency and accountability is on the rise so, for consumers and farmers to be able to track the source of dairy products back to their origin will hopefully bring a greater confidence within the industry.
The new program will make it easier to recall dairy products which is a bonus for those who are involved with the distribution. It hasn’t always been easy tracking and tracing dairy products but with this automated and consolidated tracing and tracking program, operations can become easier and more efficient.
The Path Forward
The DairyTrace program serves to maintain the confidence that the dairy industry is a responsible industry. There have been numerous technological advancements within the agriculture industry and dairy farmers have adopted new practices to ensure efficiency along with health and safety. During a time of unpredictability and angst surrounding food this data management infrastructure will hopefully bring some peace of mind.