Congratulations on your renewed commitment to sourcing beef from here at home. Canada’s beef-eaters and producers applaud you. The good news is that there is already plenty of beef in Canada to meet your humane treatment requirements. (It’s actually illegal to raise cattle any other way.) The challenge, as you’ve discovered, is in tracking the history of care from Canadian farms to your customers’ forks.
That’s where BIXS comes in. BIXS is a kind of Facebook for cows. We provide a system for you to connect with ranchers based on the characteristics you’re looking for, and the kind of cattle the rancher has available. And here’s the best part: this process is available right now.
How does BIXS work? Think of a typical Canadian cattle producer who does all the right things. He cares for his cattle ethically and humanely, around the clock, every day of the week. He details the history of care until the animal goes to auction. Then, he posts that history on BIXS. Everyone else along the chain of custody (auction markets, feedlots, and packers) can access that data, and provide supplemental information about production practices while in their custody. Because we can track this chain of custody and care – and verify it as an independent third party – we can help restaurants like Earls provide reliable information to their customers about their burgers and steaks.
You win. The producer wins. And the consumer wins.
BIXS is already working with McDonald’s Canada to do exactly the same thing, only on a much larger scale – McDonald’s buys about 65 million pounds of beef each year in Canada alone. As a partner in McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Program (VSB), we’re helping to provide the framework for McDonald’s to source its beef sustainably and exclusively through Canadian producers. In fact, one of the main reasons that McDonald’s chose to pilot its VSB program in Canada was due to the strength of BIXS. Along with the Verified Beef Program from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, our combined systems are allowing us to measure, verify, and track sustainability in ways that no other country is yet able to do.
Building a system that verifies the quality of Canadian beef is helping to unlock the value of data for everyone from producers to retailers, and supports trust in the entire supply chain. By satisfying consumer demand for verifiable information, we can help consumers become even more confident in their beef supply, more interested in buying beef, and more able to find beef that fits the characteristics they value. We can also better respond to food safety emergencies.
Canadian cattle producers are among the most responsible producers anywhere in the world, and are justifiably proud of the ethical and humane treatment of their animals. That’s why they took it personally when you thought you had to source your beef from the U.S. We’re helping to make sure that restaurants like Earls don’t make that mistake again.
To make it easier to find producers from all over the country, we make enrolling in the program easy and free. It costs nothing to input data into BIXS, but anyone who wants to access the data pays a fee to the data source. The fee makes the program sustainable and allows everyone to be compensated for their work. This is what we call Collaborative Economics – creating opportunities that benefit the whole industry – and it’s a core value of BIXS.
As we work to connect producers with retailers all around the country, we’re looking forward to helping you take advantage of this golden opportunity to support Canadian beef producers while meeting the expectations of your customers.
Hubert Lau is the President & CEO of BIXSco a partnership between the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Alberta’s ViewTrak Technologies Inc. and Chief Technology Strategist for Troy Media Digital Solutions.
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