The National Farmers' Union President has said the new Livestock Information Programme is "pivotal" in bringing the livestock sector together.
The Traceability Design User Group (TDUG) has given a key update to the industry on the programme, with support from government, food chain and farming groups.
TDUG – which was formed last year and now represents 23 organisations across the meat and livestock sector – held an event to update key stakeholders in London on Monday (3 September), including Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, Lord Gardiner.
It follows an announcement by Defra in April about the go-ahead of the service, hoping to provide the foundation for some of the "best farm-to-fork traceability in the world".
'Once in a generation'
NFU President, Minette Batters said the UK has a "once in a generation opportunity" to drive change with the Livestock Information Programme.
“We believe that the LIP will put in place a foundation that we can build on to bring our sector together, connecting producers, markets and processors," Ms Batters said.
"It will enable risk-based trading and for us to evidence the quality of our products.
“For the first time, the livestock sector will be able to lead the way in British agriculture, building a national system that provides powerful insight from which they can drive better profit through cost reduction, maximising price through provenance and securing the markets that best suit their products.
She added: “It really is a pivotal time for the Programme and I’m thrilled to see such great progress enabled by the partnership across the industry.”
The new service hopes to add value for the livestock sectors, as well as providing a statutory service that will better protect against disease and bolster trade negotiations.
John Cross, livestock farmer and TDUG Chairman said: “We are in an unprecedented position where the ambitions and needs of government and industry are totally aligned and this is a unique opportunity to achieve something incredibly smart together and make the UK meat and livestock industry world-class.”