17 April 1998
Computerised beef tracking to aid consumers
By FWi staff
A NEW computerised cattle tracking system – designed to reassure discerning consumers that they are buying premium beef – was launched today.
The SureMark computer database has been developed to assist producers, markets, abattoirs and retailers to comply with the European Unions beef labelling scheme – which is expected to be introduced in July this year.
Jonathan Witts, managing director, said the system would initially be targeted at UK butchers. Once the EU regulations come into force, butchers will be required to prove to their customers that their beef products comply with the labelling scheme.
There are three parts to the on-line service. SureGen assists beef producers by tracking the genetic history of cattle, SureTrace assists retailers and abattoirs by keeping track of cattle from birth to slaughter, while SureClear offers a secure system of transmitting animal improvement information via the internet.
Mr Witts said SureMark would complement the computerised tracing system being set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in response to the need for greater tracibility in the wake of the BSE crisis.