By Lisa McLean
Kitchener – What if monitoring temperature controls was automated, and a grain bin itself could warn suppliers of low levels?
That’s the theory behind an emerging category of technology called “the Internet of things (IOT),” and it’s leading to better business outcomes for farms and food business across Canada.
Kyle Arbuckle, of Kitchener, Ontario-based blueRover, says agriculture and food is one key area of focus for the company, which serves clients across North America.
In agriculture, blueRover is developing new ways to give farmers cost-effective ways to be pre-warned on any non-optimal conditions on the farm and through the cold-chain.
“We focus on the business of perfect food safety and other business outcomes that will help business mitigate risk, increase compliance, decrease cost and differentiate their business amongst competitors,” says Arbuckle. Continue reading
By Lilian Schaer
Guelph – A new sensor-based tracking system for livestock could provide peace of mind for farmers, food companies and consumers that animals are being treated humanely during transport.
Transport Genie monitors microclimate conditions inside livestock trailers and provides that information to users along the supply chain using block chain technology.
Block chains are a digital ledger of all transactions in a supply chain – information is passed along digitally as an attachment to the chain instead of through a paper trail and the permanent links between the blocks eliminate the possibility of data tampering.
“The devices currently monitor conditions like humidity and temperature inside a trailer, but could in future also track things like CO2 levels, acceleration and breaking to ensure livestock arrive at their destination safely, alive and healthy,” explains Kristen Celotto, part of the Transport Genie development team. “And if animals are injured or die in-transit, the sensors can indicate what went wrong and when.” Continue reading
By Lilian Schaer
Elora, Ontario – New data capture technology is making traceability and food safety risk management easier for Canadian beef, dairy, bison, goat and sheep farmers.
Go360 bioTrack, an initiative of AgSights, offers expanded data collection and management capabilities. It helps farmers track everything from livestock inventory numbers and animal movements to pedigree, reproduction, health, and body condition scoring information.
“We are using technology to take away headaches for people by making traceability and record-keeping simple,” explains AgSights General Manager Mike McMorris. “The latest version offers a lower cost entry point and some big improvements in terms of functionality.”
The base version that simply helps farmers keep track of their cattle inventory numbers is free. A small monthly subscription fee allows for tracking of animal movements from farm to farm or from farm to market, an increasingly mandatory requirement for Canadian livestock farmers. Continue reading
By Jeanine Moyer
Harriston ON – Harriston Packing Company Ltd. is a testament to the old adage that the customer is always right.
As the small town family business celebrates 50 years this year, second generation co-owner Mark Oelschlagel says listening to his customers has been the key to growth, especially in recent years. Over the past decade, local food trends and changing customer buying habits have shaped a new direction for the meat processing and retail company.
Today, the family business located in Harriston, ON is stronger than ever. Oelschlagel continues adjusting the company business model to keep up with his customers, and his results are paying off.
“Direct-to-customer wholesale and retail sales have grown six times in the past ten years,” says Oelschlagel, who is also seeing the trend extend to custom processing for farmers as farm gate sales increase. Continue reading
By Jeanine Moyer
Sharbot Lake, ON – Five years ago, Mike Mckenzie set out to make delicious food.
His distinguished taste for salami and smoked meats, combined with his drive to acquire meat-making skills led to the creation of Seed to Sausage, a meat processing, retail and distribution company in Sharbot Lake, a small Frontenac County village north of Kingston.
Mckenzie follows his own suite of guidelines – to make the most delicious food he can, prioritize quality and consistency, source certified humanely raised meat and local products, and use as few additives as possible. These business and product requirements have quickly become the recipe to success for Seed to Sausage.
Building the business took time. Before settling in Eastern Ontario, Mckenzie’s travels and love of meat saw him sampling salami wherever he went, refining his taste and preferences. Continue reading