Pork to be used in trial to create ‘innovative’ meat traceability system
An innovation trial which aims to improve efficiency in supply chains and reduce food waste has announced it will be using pork as an example product in testing the meat traceability system.
The SecQuAL (Secure Quality Assured Logistics for Digital Food Ecosystem) project is being led by supply chain assurance specialists LRQA. SecQuAL brings together a consortium of 11 organisations aiming to develop smart tags and labels, placing technology at the fore in the farm-to-fork ecosystem to help create a meat traceability system.
UK retailers are now being sought to participate in tests and trials to help improve food traceability.
Enhancing consumer trust
Upon completion, according to SecQuAL, the project will help reduce waste, track food, leverage real-time data for an efficient decision-making process, and enhance customer trust in food they procure.
With food waste prevalent on a global scale, the ability to identify sources of this growing issue thanks to digital surveillance could lead to a new standard for accountability.
Global food-sharing technology organisation, OLIO, recently reported that almost 1.3 billion tonnes of food – which could feed the population of Italy for a lifetime – is spoiled in transit or thrown away by consumers around the world each year. The same report suggested that over one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste, while 25% of the world’s fresh water supply is used to grow food that is not eaten.
Changing consumer habits to reduce waste
A recent report by the charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has indicated that consumers are open to changing their habits to reduce food waste. In a series of surveys undertaken during the Covid-19 pandemic, the report found that 79% of respondents undertook new food management behaviours, such as using leftovers and planning meals ahead of shopping.
According to Stuart Kelly, sales director business assurance, LRQA, changing consumer attitudes towards food provenance gives the perfect impetus for retailers to sign up to participate in the SecQuAL project.
He said: “The global food waste crisis is only increasing, and we believe that current practices can be simplified to ensure the entire food ecosystem works together to improve future performance. We are now looking for leading retailers to join the project as we look to test the digital technologies.”
The SecQuAL project began in 2021, after being awarded funding by the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge at UK Research and Innovation.. Expected to complete by March 2023, the consortium of 11 organisations is made up of LRQA, IBM, PragmatIC Semiconductor Ltd, RSK ADAS, Advanced Material Development, BlakBear, CPI, Consus Fresh Solutions, Cranswick PLC, CCL design and Food Standards Agency.