Smartening-up meat traceability

The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management
  • A grant has been awarded to a project to research the benefits of smart tags to improve meat traceability
  • This project is one of 14 to receive funding under Round 2 of the Australian Government’s Traceability Grants Program.
  • Central Queensland University has been awarded a $200,101 traceability grant to improve meat traceability through the existing National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).

    Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the research will look at ways to improve meat traceability, animal welfare and meat quality.

    “On-animal sensors or smart-tags is an emerging technology and we’re only just learning the full extent of how it can benefit the red meat industry,” Minister Littleproud said.

    “This research looks at how smart-tags technology can be used in traceability, linking pre-farm gate management with the results obtained at processing.

    “It involves a review of how smart-tags can be used to detect disease and management issues, and a case study to inform how this data can be employed for industry.

    “While there is a commercial drawback to diseases, given that they ultimately result in carcass downgrades, any incentive to improve the health and welfare of our animals can only be a positive.

    “What’s even better is that this technology doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

    “We already use sophisticated ear tags in the form of the NLIS, so this research can be used to improve and expand a product that is already in use.

    “We know that consumers in Australia and internationally want greater transparency and real time advice about the origin and safety of product in the modern digital marketplace.

    “Whether it’s through developing block-chain technology to assist with food safety, an app to track kangaroo meat harvesting, or a DNA database to combat illegal logging, these round two projects will give Aussie exporters the competitive edge.”

    Associate Professor Mark Trotter of the Central Queensland University said that he was grateful for the grant.

    “We thank the Australian Government for its support to develop a sensor-based livestock traceability system,” Professor Trotter said.

    For more details on the 14 successful round two projects visit the Traceability Grants Program website..

    Fast Facts:

    • The Traceability Grants Program supports industry projects that will enhance our agricultural supply chain traceability systems, including developing and trialing technologies that digitise information flow.
    • The program also aims to provide an advantage for our exporters and to increase opportunities to export Australian commodities.
    • The program is part of the Australian Government’s Modernising Agricultural Trade agenda to support the target of a $100 billion agricultural sector by 2030.
    • The Australian Government is investing $7 million from 2019-20 through to the end of 2022-23 in projects under the Traceability Grants.

    /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.