Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
British Columbia businesses are strengthening food security and food safety by adopting new traceability technology with funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia.
Traceability systems help build consumer confidence, making it possible to track the movement of food through production, processing and distribution. This information can be used to protect public health by limiting the spread of foodborne illness, strengthen brand reputation and help businesses run more efficiently.
For sisters Emma and Jenna Davison, dairy farming is in their blood. Their family has been farming in Maple Ridge since 1902. To honour their agricultural roots while creating their own legacy, the Davisons created Golden Ears Cheesecrafters. Milk for their products is sourced from their uncle’s jersey cows next door and is used to produce 12 varieties of artisan cheese and butter for British Columbia consumers.
The journey of each variety of cheese sold in their store is captured through a traceability system. From the milk produced in their uncle’s farm to the cheese made and sold in store, this system helps document the journey.
The Davisons recently made the shift from a manual paper-based system to a real-time digital system with $6,500 in funding from the British Columbia Traceability Adoption Program. With the funding, the sisters were able to modernize their existing system, which has decreased paperwork, reduced labour costs and allowed them to focus on improving the quality of their products while looking at ways to expand their operation, all while building more confidence in their products with consumers.
British Columbia’s traceability programs are supported by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agrifood and agri-based product sector.
“By modernizing their traceability system from paper-based to digital, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters is able to focus on what they do best while ensuring the quality of their product from farm to table. Our Government will continue to support important initiatives, such as this, that help strengthen food safety, and ensure consumer confidence in Canadian food products at home and abroad.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Family businesses like Golden Ears Cheesecrafters share their stories through the food they create. Our government is commited to helping businesses share the story of food from farm to table, and traceability systems help to do that. Strengthening these systems demonstrates how companies are working to keep local food safe and accessible to consumers.”
– Lana Popham, British Columbia’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
“As a small cheese manufacturer, we’ve had to make a lot of our own systems for controlling inventory. Using technology to make our traceability system more efficient and effective was something we needed to do. This funding helped us rethink how we do traceability, allowing us to track products much faster with our upgraded system.”
– Jenna Davison, Co-owner, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters
- Since the program launched in January 2019, traceability programs have disbursed $1.12 million to 125 businesses in British Columbia
- In 2019, dairy products generated approximately $1.6 billion
- In 2018, British Columbia dairy farmers produced 807.3 million litres of milk
- Cows raised for milk production can be found across most regions of British Columbia. More than 70% are located in the Lower Mainland-southwestern region of the province
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments, with the aim of strengthening the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity