In July 2012, the Government of Canada made an important announcement: a $765,000 investment into building a single national livestock traceability system. The new system, called Canadian Agri-Traceability Services (CATS), is part of the larger Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI). It is run by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the mandate is to enable the food industry to manage risk proactively, and effectively respond to demands from governments and buyers for demonstrable assurances on food safety and biosecurity risks.
This investment will help track information, ultimately protecting the bottom line of beef, dairy, bison, sheep and other animal producers. CATS will bring together the combined experience of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ) to reduce costs and simplify data reporting.
The investment of $765,000 is being made through the Government’s Canadian Industry Traceability Infrastructure Program, which supports the development of industry-led systems that collect and verify identification and movement data, and that accelerate and increase industry’s tracking and tracing capacity.
Immediate answers to important questions
Product tracing is the ability to follow the movement of a food through specified stages of production, processing and distribution. It can be limited to critical points along the supply chain (e.g. livestock), or be “full-chain” from farm to fork (e.g. meat and fresh produce). Programs like this are helpful in the event of food safety recalls.
This new program will allow government and industry to better control the economic effect of animal health, plant health, food safety and other emergencies. The overall program goal is to assist the sector to respond to growing consumer demands for improved food safety assurance on-farm and to equip the sector to manage risk proactively.