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Traceability Consensus Expected to be Challenging

15 July 2009
University of Manitoba
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CANADA - According to Bruce Cochrane, a senior scholar with the University of Manitoba says defining terminology and getting a consensus on the importance of traceability will be among the challenges in developing a national food traceability research and development strategy.

Last month over 200 food industry stakeholders gathered in Winnipeg for Trace R&D 2009.

The two-day conference was hosted by the University of Manitoba 's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals to gather input for a national traceability research and development strategy.

Dr. Ed Tyrchniewicz, who's synthesizing the data gathered, says an issue as complex as traceability poses several challenges.

Dr. Ed Tyrchniewicz-University of Manitoba

Understanding terminology is very very important because the people involved are at various spots in the agriculture and food value chains and they have different perspectives.

Even on the research side different disciplines have different perspectives so it's coming up with that common understanding of what is meant.

I think probably one of the biggest challenges is going to be getting a consensus on why traceability is so important.

There are many dimensions to that but reaching a consensus on that is going to be very important.

I think another challenge in this exercise is getting an understanding of what is meant by traceability and the difference with traceability research and development.

They're not necessarily the same thing.

You have to understand what is traceability and then having an R&D strategy, it's how do you plan your research, what are the critical issues that need to be dealt with in implementing this value proposition for traceability.


Dr. Tyrchniewicz expects to present a preliminary report to the industry government advisory committee on traceability by the end of this month.

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