Belarus is planning to introduce a new system of meat quality control using UPC bar codes.
These measures had been provided for under the recently introduced law “on the identification, registration and traceability of farm animals and animal products”.
The government aims to create an information system which can track the history of an animal’s life from birth to slaughter, with all data encrypted in a UPC code. This will enable a consumer to find out all possible details about the meat they buy, in particular how and with what it was fed, where the animal was grown, whether it was vaccinated and at what time the meat products were made.
The request for the creation of the system in Belarus came from Russia, leading experts to predict that, in the near future, UPC labelling will operate across the whole territory of the Customs Union, which includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the House of Representatives on agricultural policy, Vladislav Tsydik, said the new system should have a positive impact on public health. “There are many elements of proper nutrition. At first glance, such things seem insignificant, but in reality, it is very important to the health of the nation,” he said.
Additionally, the details about the raw materials used by a particular processing plant will affect that plant’s reputation among consumers, making the market more transparent and improving the quality of meat products, said Tsydik.
The UPC codes will be collected from breeding farms and stored on a single database, allowing experts to identify the economic costs of keeping animals on different farms.
Tsydik said this would help improve farm efficiency and boost rates of meat production in the country. “We need a scientific approach and consistency in terms of livestock breeding. This is a very important element. Professionals know that without improvements in breeding, further intensification of livestock production is simply unrealistic,” he added.