Guelph, Ont. – Ontario food processors and producers are set to get some financial help for investing in tools that will help them keep better track of their products.
The federal government and province of Ontario launched a new voluntary program called Traceability Foundations Initiative. Together both governments are contributing $21.5 million to the program.
The program will mean food companies and producers will be able to get as much as three-quarters of the cost of equipment – such as databases, software, bar code scanners and tag readers – covered, reports the Waterloo Record.com.
Government officials say the program is about tools that trace animals and foods as they move through the system and show where they came from or where they were processed.
Safety and marketing
Government officials say the program is about food safety but it’s also about marketing opportunities. Processors and producers can use traceability tools to help verify farmers’ claims that their animals are raised organically or grass-fed, says the Record.com.
Improved traceability can also help farmers sell into foreign markets and it means increased peace-of-mind for consumers.
In a joint press release, both governments say having a full traceability system requires the collection, storage and sharing of three key pieces of information: premises identification, product identification, and movement recording.
This new program, they say, will help make the agricultural and food industries stronger, protect consumers and ensure market access for farmers and food processors.