Traceable Meat™ provides a tool for ranchers to connect with consumers
As more consumers are seeking information on where their food comes from, a new program has emerged to help ranchers track individual animals from birth to harvest.
“This system is set up to provide the opportunity for meat producers to provide information on their product and their ranches to consumers through a mobile app,” say Josh Morrison.
The app, Traceable Meat™, was released at the beginning of the year and is now available for both consumers and producers to utilize.
Morrison explains that when producers register as a member, they have access to a dashboard on an internet platform.
“Ranchers sign into the website and can enter their information,” he says. “They can add animals, edit information and manipulate the appearance of their app.”
Information regarding an individual animal’s vaccinations, antibiotics and processing records can all be added on the ranch.
The system is applicable to any type of meat protein – including beef, pork, lamb, fish and poultry.
At the same time, ranchers can also include information about their operation, including location, contact information and specifics about their practices, in the app to better inform consumers and provide them a direct connection to the ranch.
“Traceable Meat™ is the edge ranchers can utilize to separate themselves from their competitors,” Morrison adds. “Many ranchers are already gathering this information. It is just a matter of getting set up in the Traceable Meat™ system and putting specific USDA compliant meat package labels on their products.”
After a rancher sells an animal – whether that be to a feedlot, harvest facility or to their neighbor – they can transfer the information with the animal.
“In the meat production industries, each animal can have multiple owners through its lifetime,” Morrison explains. “The Traceable Meat™ system is set up to allow different owners to access an animal. The animal’s account is passed from person to person with changes in ownership.”
The system also includes information input for all sectors of the meat production industry.
“The system can include information like the age of cattle at harvest, the length of time meat was aged, processor information and vendor information,” Morrison continues. “Basically, this app provides farm-to-fork information through the entirety of an animal’s life.”
The system individually identifies each animal that is registered within a herd.
“Every time an animal is entered, a QR tag specific to that animal is generated,” Morrison explains. “That tag travels with the animal through the system.”
The QR tag can be printed and be utilized on a variety of media – whether that be on product packaging or restaurant menus – allowing consumers access to information about the individual animals they are consuming.
“We are also working on a proposal with USDA, based on their Animal Disease Traceability rule,” he says. “We are working to become compliant with that rule.”
Morrison also adds that a shopping cart feature is also available through the app, allowing consumers to purchase beef directly from producers.
Traceable Meat™, adds Morrison, is a novel product that allows producers to become involved in a one-of-a-kind way to connect with their consumer.
Cutting edge technology
“The app went live at the end of January,” he says.
“We are leading the industry in this arena,” Morrison notes. “Traceable Meat™ is excited to be teaming up with a couple of well-established businesses in cattle management to provide additional services for clients.”
The company continues to move forward with their product to meet the needs of both ranchers and consumers.
“We hope to start setting some new standards in the meat industry,” Morrison says. “People should know where their meat is coming from, how it is treated and other information.”
He continues that the high prices seen in today’s market mean that now is a great time for ranchers to invest is new technology.
“It is a good time to invest in Traceable Meat™ for ranchers to ensure sustainable higher income from red meat consumers who want farm-to-fork information and are willing to pay for it,” Morrison says. “Let’s give consumers what they want, set some standards and make some money.”
“When consumers go to the supermarket and buy a package of hamburger, they are buying meat from a number of different animals in it, and they don’t know exactly what they are getting,” Morrison says. “Information is power, and the more information consumers have, the happier they are.”
Morrison further notes that universities and independent researchers have provided data showing consumer’s willingness to pay more for meat with origin information.
“If we can provide the information, it is a little more work, but it pays off,” he adds.
Saige Albert is managing editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.