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Manitoba Launches $400,000 Traceability Programme

29 January 2009

MANITOBA, CANADA - The province is committing more than $400,000 to develop and launch an agri-food traceability system to trace food products from producers to consumers, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today.

"Food safety through traceability and surveillance are important to the public's well-being.

This registration database will provide valuable information on the location and identification of foods produced or processed in Manitoba, enabling us to quickly track the origin of foods, thus ensuring the ongoing safety and health of Manitobans," said the minister.

"A comprehensive traceability system will support a timely and effective provincial response to any food-safety issue or animal health emergency."

The province will be building on the traceability expertise developed and tested in a recent pilot project with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). The budget for these projects is just over $400,000 and will be used for technical equipment, data-base development and staffing.

The agri-food premises identification system will locate and register all farms and other places where animals are raised, kept or sold. Registration will begin with the livestock sector, but will be expanded to include all farms that grow food, processing plants and eventually all places where food is kept.

Wowchuk indicated producer and processor organizations have developed animal and product identification systems and Manitoba will be working with other federal and provincial partners to track movements of animals, other commodities and food products across Canada.

"Manitoba's traceability and food-safety system would ensure that all food processing done in this province is subject to a monitoring program," said Wowchuk. "Enhancing the province's ability to track, trace, test and monitor the products in Manitoba's food chain will elevate the status of foods produced here for consumers and customers nationally and internationally, providing economic benefits for the province."

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