Food security continues to be a prevalent issue as the world population continues to grow. The Food and Agriculture Association states that “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. There are four components of food security. Availability of food, access to food, utilization of food, and stability. Availability of food refers to the physical presence of safe and nutritious food at a specific time and place. Access to food is defined as whether an individual can obtain access to available food. The utilization of food addresses how the body takes in and uses the nutrients from the food that is consumed. And lastly, stability connects with each of the previous components as it aims to ensure that a food supply is stable and enduring, rather than fluctuating and temporary.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
By 2050, there will be roughly two billion more mouths to feed than there currently are and the demand for food is expected to rise 60% over current levels. These numbers are especially striking and put pressure on those involved in the agriculture industry as they play a predominant role in ensuring that these supply requirements are met to feed communities around the world.
In the past, there has been little emphasis on preserving and sharing information about raw products and materials in the meat production chain. This has caused concerns in the industry regarding food safety and quality control mainly for consumers. Consumer preferences are continuously changing, and they are becoming more interested in the nutritional benefits that are provided with food products while also seeking a high level of transparency. More specifically, in the meat that they choose to eat. In today’s market, there is an increased preference for having the ability to track the origin of meat, the procedures of how it was raised and processed, as well as other records or reports that may pertain to specific animals.
Transparency in food products allows for a form of trust to be established between producers and consumers by giving consumers access to information about the products that are being promoted and sold. This trust adds value to livestock animals as it can result in a competitive advantage in the market. It proves to consumers that the company is authentic, which keeps them engaged in the products. Consumers are willing to pay premium prices for a product that they are informed about and that they trust. Producers are also able to advance in the market by promoting quality claims about their meat products such as grass-fed, organic, natural, or free-range. If these requirements can be met, certain programs may pay premium prices which can increase overall profitability. These factors should be taken into high consideration by producers in the beef market as it is significantly more challenging to gain a new and loyal consumer base rather than keeping a current one.
Traceability hasn’t been very efficient and couldn’t be achieved in the same ways that it can be in today’s market. Traceability plays a significant role in the cattle industry because it aids in controlling risks that may impact the food supply chain. Food traceability allows consumers to follow the movement of a given product from start to finish. Traceable meat means the meat is produced from an identified animal on a registered ranch or farm and has information pertaining to it from birth to slaughter.
It is crucial that data about your herd is accurate and up to date to meet industry requirements, as well as to please the consumers who are seeking information about the product. Keeping an accurate record of each individual animal with proper data management practices allows for the minimization of potential food safety risks, assures compliance, and builds a form of trust between the producer and the consumer.
Many premium markets are available but may require specific record-keeping documentation. It may be hard for some cattle producers to be able to justify completing the necessary documents for each animal within their herd as they may not have enough time or labor to meet these program requirements. 701x is aiming to simplify these record-keeping processes so that ranchers can be eligible to enter these premium markets if they choose to.
OUR LIVESTOCK TECHNOLOGY
Traceability is one of the key features that the 701x livestock management system plans to provide. 701x has found a way to actively capture and log information about each livestock animal within your operation. Our goal is to increase awareness about each individual livestock animal in your herd for the benefit of the producer and the consumer. Our smart cattle ranching technology uses a GPS ear tag and software application to actively track and record data about each animal. Age, breed, health records, origin, and supplier information are just a few examples of information that could be inputted into our management platform.
Reports and information about your herd are recorded, stored, and secured within th