Alliance Group can now use a unique chemical test to prove the sheep meat it exports to customers across the globe originates from NZ.
The test analyses the meat’s unique geochemical profile, which is based on the water, soil and air where an animal grazes, and compares the information with a database, much like that of fingerprint technology.
“This technology provides our customers, and ultimately consumers, with a scientific assurance their meat originates from NZ,” Alliance Group general manager marketing Murray Brown said. “Our ability to prove provenance for our premium NZ lamb can only enhance the value of our products.
“Alliance Group already has well-established traceability systems. However, we’re excited at the potential of this science to enhance our existing systems.
“Alliance Group has always been at the forefront of new technology and this development underlines our commitment to innovation, which benefits our suppliers and customers.”
Dr Helen Darling, of Oritain, said the rapid increase in global food fraud meant the ability to scientifically prove the origin of a product was increasingly important for producers and processors.
NZ lost about $89 million every year to the black market, but this was a conservative figure because it did not include trade within countries, she said.
“The world trade in counterfeit goods is estimated to exceed NZ$298 billion every year and is growing.
“It’s likely that this actual value is much higher, given that the estimate is based on actual interceptions.”