The B.C Egg Marketing Board Launches New Technology to Modernize Egg Farming Practices
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The B.C Egg Marketing Board has launched a new initiative that will transform the way egg producers manage their day to day operations on-farm. Working in collaboration with IBM they have developed an analytics technology system that will create a value-added layer to producer’s bottom line, workload capabilities, biosecurity, and food safety measures. The BC Egg Marketing Board represents more than 130 egg producers, managing BC’s egg production and ensuring supply meets market demand.
The analytics will not only change the way on-farm inspection and bio-security audits are conducted, but it will be an additional resource tool for producers to interact and exchange information through the producer only portal. This portal is meeting a knowledge transfer-gap in the industry as they are “seeing an increase in newer farmers getting involved today, whether it’s being passed down from one generation to the next or new farmers that are buying into the system. These farmers are new and young and they don’t have a place to go” says Randy Friesen, Manager, Production and Research at BC Egg Marketing Board.
The new system will allow up-to-date information relating to on-farm activities and features a news feed section and the ability to consolidate production information on a weekly basis. The system benefits are multifaceted, meeting the needs of all of the actors involved – the farmer, the government and the consumer. It will transform the way producers manage daily operations on-farm, meet food safety standards made by governments and act as a proactive measure for food traceability – an ever increasing demand made by consumers.
This is a big step towards a modern way of managing on-farm information. Prior to the analysis system everything was recorded on paper and there was no way to sort or compare data. Now that this system is available, it will provide real time data allowing producers to correct problems right away. This has created a win-win scenario as the new system address the drain on farmer’s time and reduces bio security risks.
“The trust equation has really changed and [producers] are now looking at us as a real business partner rather than the organization that has come in and told them what to do” says Anne-Marie Butler, Director of Finance and Administration at BC Egg.
Other than a small handful of producers, the Egg Marketing Board hopes to have the majority of egg producers utilizing the new system. To date the BC Egg Marketing Board has purchased 50 licences for producers and is currently running training sessions for those who will be adopting the new system.