Framework for a voluntary traceability system for beef
Calitz, Petronella Anne
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In recent years, food safety and food quality have become important issues in the global beef industry. Traceability can be seen as an important tool for ensuring safety and quality of beef products. Consumers have also become more aware of what they buy and they require more information on the origin of foods. These are the main reasons why traceability is a requirement for all beef imported into countries and regions such as Australia, Japan, South Korea and the European Union states. Although there are African countries with mandatory traceability systems (Namibia and Botswana), South Africa does not have such a system in place and is therefore excluded from exporting beef products to certain markets. The main aim of this study was to establish a framework for a voluntary beef traceability system for South Africa that complies with all international standards and the requirements of countries which require traceability of beef imports. The objectives of this study were to a) get clarification of an ideal traceability system that meets international standards, b) assess of the current South African laws and the classification system and ascertain how it can assist in traceability implementation, and lastly c) propose a framework for a farm to fork beef traceability system for South Africa. An in-depth review was done on the current status of beef traceability in the world, as seen in Article 1. This study included the current systems implemented by some of the biggest importing and exporting countries and economic unions in the world, which included Brazil, Australia, EU states and Japan, to only name a few. Traceability standards were also studied to gain a good understanding of what the requirements are for a globally acceptable traceability system. The three well-known conceptual frameworks were also included in this part of the study and included the CTE and KDE framework, Food Track and Trace Ontology, and lastly the TraceFood Framework. Thereafter, the existing traceability systems were divided into three levels according to depth, breadth and precision. In this part of the study, the current status of traceability in the South African beef industry in relation to other beef producing countries and economic union is also briefly discussed. The next step in this study was to establish a traceability system using the CTE and KDE framework. It was important to establish the CTEs and KDEs for each of the role-players in the value chain to ensure the link from live to final product is not broken. After the framework for each role-player was established, a few benefits were also identified for the adoption of this framework. It was important to ensure that this framework would take all global, as well as South African, laws and regulations into account. The results of this study are that a framework for a voluntary beef traceability system can be established. By adopting this framework, all participants will have access to the same benefits as those in countries with mandatory traceability systems. This voluntary traceability system can also form part of a pilot study for a mandatory traceability system for the South African beef industry.