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Technology also places Uruguayan beef in the most demanding markets

Uruguay is the only country in the world with an individual traceability system for all heads of cattle, which includes data on the life of each animal. This system was developed by GeneXus Consulting in combination with ICA and SONDA, and constitutes a distinguishing aspect in regards to Uruguayan beef when the most demanding markets are concerned.

Uruguay’s one-of-a-kind individual cattle traceability system was created by  GeneXus Consulting in combination with ICA and SONDA. The system provides the life history of each animal, from birth to slaughtering plant. This is the main outstanding feature of Uruguayan beef sold at increasingly demanding markets concerned with buying grade A beef products.

This revolutionary system guarantees both the safety and innocuousness of food and favors the access of Uruguayan beef to the strictest markets that are willing to pay higher prices for premium cuts that come with full information regarding the originating cattle. "This system resulted as a response to demanding markets and for consumers willing to know the background of the cattle products and where and how that cattle was raised" explained Marcos Presa, Operations Manager of the National Cattle Information System (“Sistema Nacional de Información Ganadera” -SNIG).

The SNIG has been in place for the past eight years, and it has become a historical landmark in the process for identifying and registering cattle. It implies benefits not only for consumers to whom it guarantees innocuous products, but also for other actors in the chain of beef sales. For instance, the SNIG allows cattle raisers to offer their products as an outstanding item that is valued throughout international markets and enhances the value of Uruguayan brands as compared to other beef-exporting countries. Importers can be sure of acquiring safe and harmless food products, while human and animal sanitary authorities are provided with vital information for managing aspects relative to the epidemiology of food-transmitted diseases. "This system brings a bonus to the country as well as to beef producers. It improves the management aspects in all possible ways and makes benefits immediately visible", said Víctor Larregui, cattle producer and owner of a ranch in the area of Durazno, Uruguay. This potential in Uruguayan beef was exhibited, along with the National Beef Institute (“Instituto Nacional de Carnes” - INAC) some months ago at the Shanghai Expo, where a typical Uruguayan restaurant was installed enabling guests to get to know the history of each animal, such as country of origin, property where it was raised, name of producer and even the slaughtering house where the product originates. "Such differential features are the key to upcoming events, at the light of the European Union’s recent authorization for the acceptance of top-quality meats (Quota 620). This requirement was implemented following the mad-cow instances and the foot-and-mouth epidemics which drove countries to becoming concerned about providing their local consumers with the best products possible", Presa said.

Uruguay’s system includes the records of 11 750 000 heads of live cattle. Producers have received, free of charge, over 17 500 000 identifying rings for the calves born in their establishments. Thanks to its great accessibility, the SNIG captures and processes the information of paper forms and makes georeference of the data available, while it also provides tools for analyzing all the data collected. This solution informs the current and historical information on the basic attributes, ownership, location and health conditions of all cattle in the country. "Additionally, producers can also classify and identify each animal, with the possibility of avoiding intermingling of our own animals with those from neighboring properties", added Larregui.  The SNIG belongs to all and has had a great impact on the national economy, because it has maintained highly-demanding markets and has opened the way to new markets, thanks to the system’s transparency, credibility and quality.

See also: MyCowBook App