Tech traceability

What is the idea?

  • To develop an approach to technical traceability.


  • Businesses handling meat must have a traceability system. The exact form of the system varies, depending on the activity of the business, but it is based on a set of continually updated records, which can be kept either manually or on computer. It may well include other documentation, such as delivery notes or receipts.
  • This system ensures that meat on sale to customers can be traced back to the animal or group of animals it came from.
  • The system was introduced to avoid disease transmission such as CJD.
  • Similar systems operate with other food products. The Produce Traceability Initiative has the vision of: Supply chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability.
  • If this can work for the food and produce industry, then why not for the tech industry?
  • Cyber security and other such threats could be our industry’s CJD.

Why do this?

  • Traceability systems:
    1. Improve consumer confidence
    2. Allow direct consumer feedback
    3. Maintain product standards
    4. Deliver quality into the market
    5. Justify pricing policies
    6. Counter undercutting and a race to the bottom
    7. Potentially differentiate North East suppliers

Beef and Veal

  • The principle of a traceability system is that for each intake of beef or veal into a business, a record is required that shows:
    1. information about where the meat from
    2. information about the meat’s origin and slaughter
    3. the reference numbers or codes if meat from different sources is combined
    4. the date of arrival of each animal, carcase, part carcase, primal or other cut of meat
    5. the date of departure of the meat or date placed on the counter.
  • The other information required for the traceability system will depend on the nature of your business including some or all of the following:
    1. the supplier
    2. delivery note
    3. kill date and kill number
    4. weight
    5. UK ear tag/cattle passport number or reference code
    6. product (cut)
    7. tray number or colour
  • Traceability control systems may need to accommodate the requirements of other schemes and standards such as those for:
    1. organic meat
    2. kosher meat
    3. farm assurance schemes
    4. Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products

Tech Traceability

  • The proposal is to investigate the development of a tech traceability scheme for introduction across the North East.
  • This will allow (not exhaustive)
    1. Date of work
    2. Name of contractor
      1. Qualifications to carry out such work
      2. Quality standards
    3. Type of work done
    4. Review period
    5. Expiry date
  • This could also be used to benchmark the quality of future tech installations to guarantee aftercare and after install support, knowledge and commitment by the installation company, as well as provide the specification and schematic of such installations.
  • Emerging technologies such as block chain databases, a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of data records hardened against tampering and revision, could support such an approach.

If you are interested in helping please get in touch.

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