Monday, December 15, 2014

Beef InfoXchange system expanding

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development AgriNews

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is partnering with ViewTrak Technologies, a world-class technology and traceability company based in Edmonton, to enhance and expand the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS). Under the partnership, a new privately-held company will take ownership of BIXS, with the CCA and ViewTrak as initial shareholders.

“Partnering with industry to expand BIXS’ reach and potential has always been our vision,” says Rob McNabb, general manager of the CCA. “ViewTrak has a solid track record in the livestock information technology industry. With their strong financials, international experience, and a worldwide network, the Viewtrak team has the expertise and resources to help CCA maximize the BIXS system for the benefit of the entire supply chain and consumers seeking information on beef production.”

The priorities of the new entity will be to increase the functionality of BIXS to allow producers to better track information and manage their businesses, continue to engage industry stakeholders in expanding BIXS’ role in supporting a strong and sustainable Canadian beef industry, and to improve the response to the growing demand by consumers and retailers for verifiable and sustainable beef products.

“The challenge and the opportunity for the Canadian cattle industry is to work together to create value by sharing information through the supply chain, so that everyone can realize the dream of increased profitability and competiveness,” says Lau. “Producers have to date largely been asked to shoulder the burden of change. But there is enormous value in collaborating while remaining fiercely competitive with one another-this is called ‘collaborative economics.’ It’s a way to circle the wagons, to enhance the competitiveness of the industry, and create best practices that will allow the Canadian cattle industry and Canadian beef to dominate world markets. This is the vision for the new BIXS we’re creating.”

Lau points to the recent statement by Loblaws, Canada’s largest food retailer, that it will begin selling sustainable beef, and supports efforts by McDonald’s to establish its sustainable beef program, as the direction industry is heading. “Collaborating for the benefit of everyone in the industry and meeting the demands of retailers and consumers is the only effective way forward,” he says.

With 3 million detailed carcass records and 3.4 million animal birthdate records in the system BIXS is the largest database of its kind in Canada.

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