BPEX is close to rolling out a robust, scientific method of identifying geographic production of pork and pork products, following two years of detailed trials. The breakthrough has the potential to protect and enhance the integrity of food labelling carrying the Red Tractor mark and other indications of provenance such as the union flag.
BPEX is currently working with the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) to establish if and how the system can be incorporated into the BMPA Assurance Schemes to add a further level of guarantee of traceability and provenance. The BMPA assurance schemes are used as the Red Tractor Standards for pork and pork products.
The method is known as Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis (SIRA). It is based on a database of four stable isotope ratios extracted from pork samples form known locations across the country. Tests have been conducted on a database of 474 farm locations in the UK which will be extended to 550 locations during the early part of this year.