IdentiGEN North America has announced it is collaborating with Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), Prairie Heritage Beef Producers and Quality Foods, a British Columbiabased grocery retail chain, on a pilot program to test a DNA technology that tracks beef from the ranch to the retail store.
IdentiGEN says the pilot program with Prairie Heritage’s 14 family ranches in Western Canada supports ARD’s commitment to partnering with industry to develop effective meat traceability systems and increase the value of Alberta-produced meat.
ARD is the one of the first Canadian entities to test DNA TraceBack, a meat identification and traceability system that is already in widespread use in Europe.
ARD supports this leading-edge technology for meat traceability to bolster the competitive position of its meat industry.
“One of our key goals is to form collaborative relationships with producers to create value and provide accountability to consumers through foolproof meat traceability,” said Jim Hansen, Business Development Officer, Beef Livestock Products, for Alberta Agriculture. “This is a partnership that, above all, benefits the consumer. DNA is indisputable. It verifies product marketing claims, and it can pinpoint a product’s ranch of origin with total accuracy.”
The first phase of the two-phase pilot program involves DNA sampling of all Prairie Heritage cattle and matching DNA samples of finished products at retail stores with these source animals. The second phase focuses on testing consumer reaction to traceability concepts at Quality Foods’ retail stores.