Meat businesses are surely bound to ensure quality and traceability in order to ensure business growth and compliance with the state’s regulations. In the present age, we need everything to be efficient. The meat market requires transparency to explain why quality and traceability are crucial for companies that are part of the meat industry. It is true that today, the customers want to know where the food they are consuming is coming from, what its origin is, how it is prepared and get sold.
Therefore, companies need to be transparent about every step of their meat processing operation and provide clear details about their meat and highlight their product specifications. The growing demand for food safety and traceability has called for advanced technologies and has pushed businesses to incorporate these significant changes into their daily business operations.
How Has COVID-19 Effected the Meat Industry?
In the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone thought there would be an expected boost in the sales of meat as people were rushing to the markets trying to gather as many supplies as they could during the lockdown; however, that assumption went wrong.
In 2020, the consumption of meat decreased by three percent, according to research performed on global food markets by FAO. As per Bloomberg, COVID-19 is one of the primary reasons why this happened.
This could be because people tend to eat more outside than in their homes, and now because of the global lockdown, most restaurants are entirely closed or partially operating. It led to less consumption of meat.
Additionally, people are now more conscious about the meat imported from ay another country such as China because the meat was liked to the outbreak of coronavirus in some countries.
Lastly, in various countries, meat companies have experienced disruptions and were closed down for a temporary period after the coronavirus outbreak in their staff.
The COVID-19 developed the need for sustainable production as well as consumption of the meat coupled with quality and traceability. Companies started to focus on how to map out their meat processing operations. Certain operations such as keeping a record of the data and essential information became a necessity in order to meet consumer and government requirements.
Why is Food Traceability Important?
In order to meet the standard guideline for food safety, traceability is vital. Companies that are involved in meat processing businesses must ensure traceability for their operational efficiency; as for the food and beverage industry, meeting consumer demands is crucial.
Traceability basically means tracing the flow of food items throughout the processes of production, processing, and distribution. Through traceability, it is easier to track any product at any step of the food chain as well as the supply chain. There are several reasons why traceability is crucial to meet business goals in the meat industry. It plays an important role in ensuring food safety.
Elements That Identify the Products and Ensure Their Traceability
Companies are keeping track of their food products by using some product identification techniques. It makes it easier to trace the food item and see if it fits consumption and meets the standard food safety guidelines. The tracking data is basically encoded in a bar code that is given to the product. If a company keeps live animals as well, like on a private ranch, they use a tag that is attached to the animal through their ears. It is usually a common practice, and now farm and ranch owners are also adopting this technique because of modern-day food traceability.
However, as far as the identification system is concerned, it is now being improved through the integration of electronic identification techniques. Tags and chips installed on animals help trace their origin and other essential details that help determine whether they are suitable for human consumption. These tags are read using a scanner. However, the data is also recorded in an online database or library.
Several technologies that are required for raw material cultivation at ranches and farms are also key players in quality and traceability processes. If an environment observation or GPS system is used for a more customized experience, the data can even help to collect location insight and conditions.