The world of livestock production is undeniably changing at a rapid pace. Today, there are increased expectations around the provenance and traceability of produce. For AgriWebb co-founder John Fargher, it’s an opportunity to empower producers.
“To meet increasing demands for traceable and sustainable meat, farmers need a greater understanding of their operations. The way to do this is via accurate data at an individual animal level,” he says. “Individual Animal Management is the next step in data-led agriculture and will deliver more efficient, profitable, and sustainable livestock operations.” The Argyle Foods Group is one livestock operation already embracing these new opportunities.
Using farm data to build trust through the supply chain
The Argyle Foods Group had its beginnings as a historical Angus stud, established in 1938 by the Graham family on the South West Slopes of New South Wales. Under the leadership of Lachlan and his brother and co-CEO, Bryce, the operation has expanded into international markets, including China, the Middle East and the USA.
In Australia, Argyle runs a stud Angus herd, a commercial Angus breeding herd, a livestock trading division, and a lamb trading business, with sheep raised for wool. On the ground, the operation is managed through the AgriWebb livestock enterprise management platform. “When you look at our AgriWebb map, we’ve got properties from Queensland to just about an hour north of Melbourne,” Lachlan Graham says.
On his properties, Lachlan is focused on verification programs that open markets and bring in a premium. He raises cattle in a grass-fed program that’s independently audited and USDA approved. His product can be marketed in America as 100% hormone-free, 100% antibiotic-free, 100% GMO-free, and never confined to a feedlot. Argyle is GAP4 certified and Certified Humane, and has developed a natural grain-fed program that’s important for US retail chains, such as Whole Foods, where people want the colour and the texture of grain-fed beef in a naturally fed product.
As a large-scale, vertically integrated operation with thousands of overseas export partners, it’s imperative the company can back up the claims it can make for its operation. To that end, Argyle is part of a collaboration with KPMG and MLA in the KPMG Origins – Trusted Beef Traceability project. KPMG Origins is a track and trace platform that uses blockchain technology and is backed by trusted and verified data. It helps farmers bolster product value and strengthen their brand.
Funded by Integrity Systems Company, the project aims to demonstrate that the data required for valuable lifetime performance insights exists in the supply chain and that this data can be collated to add value to red meat businesses.
This initiative has been made possible through the on-farm adoption of AgriWebb’s Individual Animal Management system and its successful connection to the KPMG Origins traceability platform.
AgriWebb’s Individual Animal Management system ensures greater traceability for every animal entering the supply chain. Easily accessible and accurate records reveal the complete history of individual animal data, including treatment records, location data, and genetics.
This granular livestock data, recorded through AgriWebb at a per-animal level, is automatically fed into the KPMG Origins platform. Down the value chain, that information can validate product claims and underpin the premium quality status for Australian beef – a true farm to fork connection. In supermarkets, customers will be able to scan product codes to learn the paddock-to-plate story of the meat they are buying.
“Through working with Integrity Systems Company (ISC), we have been able to link the data collected on-farm in Agriwebb to the KPMG Origins Platform. We have then connected this data into the MLA Group Data Platform, which has enabled us to begin linking all of our data back to carcase performance and compliance,” Lachlan says.
“Anyone not using tech will get left behind…it’s the way forward for our business in terms of reporting, but also in terms of growth capital and profitability”
Argyle Foods Group and the Integrity Systems Company will now analyze the complete supply chain dataset to discover additional use cases of value, beyond traceability.
“Individual Animal Management is the next step in data-led agriculture and will deliver more efficient, profitable, and sustainable livestock operations,” John Fargher predicts. “This more granular, data-led approach will help to provide a more transparent and traceable supply chain while giving enhanced consumer confidence and satisfaction.”
Lachlan believes using data smartly, and embracing technology in general, is central to success in the farming landscape. “Anyone not using tech will get left behind,” he says. “It’s all about having good data. And it’s the way forward for our business in terms of reporting, but also in terms of growth capital and profitability.”
To find out how AgriWebb Individual Animal Management can help you collect and analyse individual animal data, start your free 14-day trial today.