Virtual supply chain aims to boost meat quality and supply

The virtual livestock network aims to drive up meat eating quality and help producers increase productivity
The virtual livestock network aims to drive up meat eating quality and help producers increase productivity

A virtual value-chain for livestock production that ensures quality and supply has been developed by Breedr and backed by the NFU.

The app aims to revolutionise the way that farm animals are produced and traded, with a vision to 'radically change' livestock production.

It gives access to information about health and weight, while the analytics tools aims to boost the herd’s productivity and profitability.

The livestock app connects to a secure trading network in the cloud so contracts can be made online.

Ian Wheal, founder of Breedr, explained that all producers need to do is share their weight data.

"Our vision is to change livestock production, so the industry can deliver meat of consistently high eating quality for consumers, with less waste and higher returns for farmers,” he said.

The livestock network aims to drive up meat eating quality, help producers to increase productivity and profitability and enable others to source high quality meat online.

John Royle, chief livestock adviser at the NFU, said the Covid-19 crisis has shown the urgency of upgrading meat value-chains so they are 'fit for the 21st century'.

"The industry needs to deliver produce of high meat eating quality, consistently, with minimal waste and environmental impacts and to do so in a way that is profitable and sustainable."

He said the online network developed by Breedr supports the NFU’s target to reach net zero by 2040.

"It is creating a virtual supply chain that builds confidence and trust between producers and processors," Mr Royle explained.

"It will remove the need for buyers to see the animals and ensure that producers are rewarded for meat that meets high welfare and quality standards.”

Data collated through the app about live weight gain, feed, health and parentage is used to make predictions about the animal’s performance and optimum date of sale for peak-profit for the farmer.

The app creates a digital profile for each animal that can be matched with a contract and traded online, meaning producers have an assured sale and buyers can easily source prime beef to order.

To achieve this, data needs to follow the animal throughout the value chain. Breedr connects to the BCMS and then links information gathered about that animal throughout its lifetime – from weigh-heads to veterinary records – to a digital record.