Importance of Tracking for Beef Commodities

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Jul 7, 2014

We have written quite a few blogs on the importance of carcass tracking and general traceability within your plant because it is an important thing to have in the meat industry. To go even further, we are going to talk about how tracking makes a world of difference for plants dealing with high grades and special beef commodities.

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Trolley Vision System with Camera and Light

Beef commodities are beef animals categorized into special programs for a variety of reasons. Good examples of beef commodities would include: Angus beef, Kobe (wagyu) beef, or certain USDA-designated grades like prime and choice.

These types of beef are all considered desirable by the consumer for one reason or another. Kobe beef is sought after for its high marbling. Angus beef (as long as it is certified) is considered to be of higher quality than cuts of meat from other common cattle because they are held to a strict set of standards.

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Even beef that was raised differently demands certain consumer attention. Labels like organic and grass-fed can demand a much higher premium than standard cattle.

Companies dealing with these niche markets know that tracking through every step, from the producer to the packaged product, is one of the most important processes in ensuring a premium. If you lose the information on a particular animal, it is fairly unlikely that you will recover it, and that means that you won’t be able to charge the premium for it.

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Trolley Vision with RF Tags

As an example, say you are getting $2/lb for your standard beef, but $5/lb for Certified Angus. The Angus designation is tied to a carcass right away when it enters the plant, but if the data is lost, there is no proof that this carcass is anything special. With an 800 lb carcass, this would account for a $2,400 dollar difference in profit for only a single carcass.

Something we make that is very helpful in managing the data for all of these different special programs is our kill floor tracking software. This takes the data that is received or entered and organizes it into a database. Based off of the criteria of that carcass, the system can make sure that you know what program that carcass belongs in, so you can notice if there are any tracking issues where you are losing data.

Of course, a thorough tracking system is needed to make this all possible, software aside. Trolley Vision® is our take on tracking, and a powerful one at that. It has higher read rates, less manual work involvement, and more durability than current methods. If you want to know more about it check out other Trolley Vision® blogs or find it on our webpage.

Trolley Vision for Tracking Carcasses

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