Ahead of the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8, we caught up with Jeroen van de Ven, Lead at Merck Animal Health Intelligence about how the animal agriculture industry needs to embed transparency and traceability, the emergence of new technologies and the importance of making new connections and partnerships at the summit.

Jeroen Van De Ven - Merck Animal Health Intelligence - Animal AgTech Innovation Summit

Please share a teaser related to the presentation that will be delivered at the summit.
Transparency is becoming more important to consumers as they want to know more about their food. The good news is that with DNA technology, evidence-based animal traceability is available today. Not only is this technology available it is also cost effective to implement across the food chain. Even with the existence of this technology there are still challenges, with the main one being:- how do we align stakeholders to implement this across the food chain. Partnerships are the answer, by partnering with companies to enable food chain transparency, we can tackle this challenge and drive meaningful change towards full transparency across the food chain.

Why is it so important for the animal agriculture industry to embed transparency and traceability throughout supply chains, from farm to fork?
Food producers, processors and retailers are looking for accurate and complete animal traceability solutions that can be 100% trusted by consumers. It’s important for the industry to embed transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain, so that we are not providing transparency in one area but not in others. This speaks directly to the demand from consumers and society, who want to be assured of the full picture.

With the global restrictions we are experiencing as a result of Covid-19, why is it important to continue bringing the ecosystem together in a virtual format at the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8?
Events, such as the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit, are critical, because it provides a venue to connect and speak with stakeholders. When we are able to connect we have the ability to share best practices and ideas, enabling us to be more effective in achieving adoption of new technologies in the marketplace.

Which technologies are you seeing that have an impact on supply chain transparency and traceability? What would you like to see next?
Enhanced digital technology will play an increasingly important role in food traceability and food safety, providing customers critical information and actionable data to help ensure a sustainable supply of quality food to protect public health. DNA is nature’s barcode and can accurately and precisely trace beef, seafood, pork and poultry that is verifiable. It is unique, as it allows the type of traceability that the industry needs to fundamentally transform. It is now possible to have 100% traceability and 100% transparency. Multiple retailers, in various parts of the world, have already adopted DNA traceability, proving that it’s cost effective, scalable and easy to implement.

What connections are important for you to make at the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit, and how does connection and partnership benefit your own organisation and the industry at large?
By engaging partners and working collaboratively we will have the ability to solve our current challenge: implementing a traceability system across the food chain. Many companies have committed to transparency, we have the technology to now execute on this commitment. We are also looking for partners that want to bring attributes from farm to fork, through new technology and data, so that we can move from only providing traceability to providing both traceability and transparency.

Hear more from the Merck Animal Health Intelligence team at the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8.

  • Join Jeroen van de Ven’s afternoon keynote discussion on ‘The Technology is Here: Let’s Move on Transparency’ at 11am PST.
  • Watch Ronan Loftus, Commercial Lead, Data Lab share his insights on the panel: ‘Building Trust in Animal Agriculture with Transparent, Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains’ during the Farm to Fork Track at 11.30am PST
  • Matteo Ratti, Data Labs Lead will host a virtual roundtable discussion on ‘Partnering with Stakeholders to Enable Farm to Fork’ at 12.30pm PST

View all the sessions here.

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