The Ontario Veal Association (OVA) recently secured approximately $140,000 in funding to complete the Gap Analysis of Traceability Capabilities and Practices in Ontario’s Veal Industry project as part of the Traceability Foundations Initiative (TFI).
The project will examine the existing traceability and information sharing capabilities of the Ontario veal industry and determine industry’s preparedness for implementing traceability systems to improve profitability and competitiveness. The project will identify options that can be pursued in order to better facilitate future information sharing among members of the supply chain, from dairy producer to abattoir, that are applicable to both milk and grain fed veal production.
International veal and beef supply chains will be analyzed to identify the location and type of information that is collected and shared, and the way that specific types of information are used to achieve competitive advantages. The type of information that is being captured and shared at different points along the supply chain from dairy farms through to processors in the production of both milk and grain fed veal in Ontario versus the type of information that could be captured and shared will be identified through a series of focus groups and supply chain partner interviews.
The project results will identify the information that veal producers would like to access that is currently unavailable, and how the identified information could be more effectively and efficiently captured given existing infrastructure. Tabletop demonstrations of mock recall events will also be performed to ensure the proposed plan is functional from a food safety perspective.
Possessing an accurate insight into current practices will enable Ontario’s veal industry to develop, implement and utilize traceability systems more effectively. Benefits would expand beyond improvements in their ability to track and trace animals and products and begin to positively impact and grow their business models. As seen in the UK, the Netherlands and other jurisdictions, such a system would enable producers and other members of the supply chain to continually improve the profitability of their operations by possessing the ability to make better business decisions and reduce costs while simultaneously increasing revenues.
The first step in achieving that outcome is to identify the information sharing practices that presently occur, the reasons why these practices are being followed, and how they compare with the information that could be shared and utilized for traceability purposes so as to gain a competitive advantage.
“This is a great way for the Ontario veal industry to work with our supply chain partners to proactively explore opportunities to address traceability issues while improving our profitability,” stated OVA President Judy Dirksen.
The Traceability Foundations Initiative is a federal-provincial cost-shared initiative. The federal funding investment is made through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund. The Ontario Veal Association proudly represents Ontario’s grain-fed and milk-fed veal farmers.
For more information please contact:
Jennifer Bullock, Project Manager
Tel: (519) 824-2942