OnTrace, the agency spearheading food traceability programs in Ontario, has launched an online, full-scale, provincewide Ontario Agri-food Premises Registry (OAPR).
“The launch of the OAPR fulfills OnTrace’s first key mandate, which was to deliver a premises identification registry for agriculture and agri-food in Ontario,” said OnTrace CEO Brian Sterling in a release Wednesday.
“The ability to identity premises and what is grown on them provides food producers in the province with a valuable business tool that will reinforce the credibility of food safety and food quality practices,” said Ontario Federation of Agriculture vice-president Bette Jean Crews, whose farm is one of the first identified premises under the new system.
“That in turn will provide economic and competitive benefits for our industry,” said Crews, who is also OnTrace’s vice-chair.
OAPR works using a “distributed architecture” system that layers publicly available data with producer group data to identify, characterize and validate where agricultural activity is taking place in Ontario, the agency said.
OAPR, it said, is not a duplication of information that already exists, but rather a “window into the data owned by various sources.” Producer groups that participate do so voluntarily at this time and OnTrace has negotiated agreements with data sources, so that it can access data for emergency management purposes.
A province-wide premises registry delivers a “single view of reality” that can identify and validate what agricultural activity is taking place in Ontario, and where it’s located, the group said. OAPR also speeds up the process of finding out the source of a food product and provides an increased level of confidence in the data.
OAPR would then be able to tie the origins of a particular meat or crop product to particular farm premises. Such a system, OnTrace said, is “a tremendous aid in emergency management and it will also verify the source and locality of food for consumers who want to ‘eat local’ or be certain that a particular product comes from Ontario.”
Participants in the OAPR also get a GS1 Global Location Number (GLN), providing access to the GS1 Canada Party and Location Registry.