Beef hanging in abattoir©Image Source/Rex Shutterstock

A Red Tractor Assurance verification system is being implemented by meat processor Dawn Meats to prevent potentially costly errors to beef farmers.

The Integrated Checker service will allow the processor to directly check the Red Tractor 90-day rule status for individual animals via the assurance scheme’s database.

See also: Arguments for and against lifetime assurance

The processor says it has invested in the system to save manpower and meet supply chain requirements.

Nick O’Toole, Dawn Meats UK IT manager said: “The new service is saving us significant amounts of manpower checking assurance across five sites.

“It also helps us meet our customers’ supply chain requirements and those of the BRC Global Food Standard for proactively managing our supply chain.”

Current Red Tractor rules for beef cattle require animals to have been on an assured farm for at least the previous 90 days.

Until now the only way to discover the 90-day status for each animal was to check all farms and markets that each animal has been on through the Red Tractor Assurance website – a manual, time-consuming and error-prone process.

Red Tractor is behind the move and has been calling for such a system for a number of years.

Philippa Wiltshire of Red Tractor added: “The industry has been calling for a quick and accurate electronic way to verify the Red Tractor assurance status of animals for a number of years.

“Our recent consultation on Lifetime Assurance for Beef highlighted this type of system would be vital to support any future changes.”