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Traceability of the swine value chain: SMEs independence from famous trademarks (P2P)

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Tracing food products for safety

The development of an online tracing system may make the food industry much safer and more competitive, allowing it to control potential food hazards before they multiply.


Competitiveness in the food industry can be enhanced through traceability systems that instil confidence in consumers. Traceability is important because it can quickly pinpoint contaminated food in the value chain and decrease risks. The EU-funded project 'Traceability of the swine value chain: SMEs independence from famous trademarks' (P2P) aims to centralise information from different traceability systems in real time to benefit authorities and consumers. The project is developing a Web-based methodology for data gathering through open source software aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector to empower them vis-à-vis more known brands. As a pilot initiative, the project investigated traceability in the pork industry, focusing on the swine value chain. It looked at traceability systems of SMEs and at the weak points in these, exploring how to bridge data from all the different systems, a challenging task to accomplish. By computerising the data collection process, P2P aimed to reduce a process that could take weeks or even months to seconds or minutes. Testing its theories on the swine value chain, the project successfully validated its proposed methodology and demonstrated the feasibility of such a system in other agro-food sectors. In more detail, P2P developed trace methodology for companies, including deliverables such as the trace-XML protocol for Internet-based applications and the trace-SW software tool. Another Internet-based tool developed was the trace-browser that supports quick and efficient data search. The resulting products are easy to use and encourage sharing of information if the client so desires. P2P represents the first step to realising automated uniform traceability systems in Europe from different sources and companies. This will contribute to enhanced safety, increased competitiveness of European products and improve consumer trust.

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