Case Study: Livestock/Milk Producer

The McCaffreys produce milk at their farm in central Ontario, and in addition to raising their own herd, they are also active in breeding and selling veal calves. Breeding is performed on-site and to maintain a steady herd, they also purchase a few replacement animals from stockyards and dealers.

All heifer and bull calves are tagged a few days after birth with two ear tags, one with a visible unique animal management number, and the other is an RFID tag which carries traceability information. The McCaffrey’s register their heifer calves with Holstein Canada, which keeps records on pedigrees, birth dates, place of origin, etc.

All of the veal is raised in accordance with the Ontario Veal Association's Quality Assurance Program. All cows and calves are vaccinated and records are kept for each animal, including dates of vaccination, vaccine identification, dosage and other information.

The producers follow the Canadian Quality Milk program developed by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. This program requires that certain records be kept and saved.

Most of their feed is produced on the farm; however, vitamins, minerals and some protein “top dress” are purchased from a local dealer. Product information is generally available on labels and packaging, including manufacturers’ lot numbers, and is currently recorded, but additional record keeping will be required in the McCaffrey’s new traceability system.

Milk production on the farm is transferred into a central tank, from which it is picked up every two days. A time/temperature recorder is required on all Ontario dairy farms to record milk temperatures in the milk tank, as well as the heat of the water used to flush out the tank and milk lines after the milk has been picked up.

The tanker truck driver records the volume level in the tank when he arrives, and two samples are taken from the tank before loading. The driver leaves a copy of the pick-up record in the milk house, and takes the samples for subsequent delivery to the lab for testing.

The McCaffrey’s use a combination of manual and electronic record keeping for the operation. They will need to develop traceability protocols for both the milking operation, as well as for their veal production.

Step 1: Process Flow Diagram

Step 2: Identifying Required Information

Step 3: Preparing Your Traceability Protocol

Step 1: Process Flow Diagram

In the first step you will prepare diagrams to represent the steps in your operation. These diagrams will provide a clear guide to where traceability-related information is gathered throughout your operation.

  1. First, think about the major activities taking place in your operation. In the Livestock/Milk example, there are multiple activities that take place in this operation (Animal Purchase & Receiving, Animal Care & Production, and Bulk Tank & Shipping) List each of these distinct parts of the business in separate boxes, in a flow chart format. Number each activity to help identify and reference each activity in your traceability protocols. Within a single activity, there may be many different types of inputs and outputs being used and produced, and therefore there may be different ways and types of information being collected. It may be necessary to identify and separate these different types of activities for the purpose of clear protocol writing. For example, receiving inputs includes all the products, consumables and materials needed to complete the activities that take place within your operation. Even though these inputs are all received into the same operation, different employees may manage each input and the information may be captured and kept differently. It will be a management decision on whether separate protocols are necessary for each type of activity.
  2. Below each activity, list all the inputs and outputs that will be used. Inputs are all of the required products, consumables and materials that will be needed to complete the activities within each step. Outputs are the work in-progress or finished products and by-products produced by the activities in each step. Usually, the outputs from one activity are the inputs of another.

Step 1: Milk and Veal Production Work Flow Diagram

First, think about the major activities taking place in your operation. In the Livestock/Milk example, there are multiple activities that take place in this operation (Animal Purchase & Receiving, Animal Care & Production, and Bulk Tank & Shipping) List each of these distinct parts of the business in separate boxes, in a flow chart format. Number each activity to help identify and reference each activity in your traceability protocols. Within a single activity, there may be many different types of inputs and outputs being used and produced, and therefore there may be different ways and types of information being collected. It may be necessary to identify and separate these different types of activities for the purpose of clear protocol writing. For example, receiving inputs includes all the products, consumables and materials needed to complete the activities that take place within your operation. Even though these inputs are all received into the same operation, different employees may manage each input and the information may be captured and kept differently. It will be a management decision on whether separate protocols are necessary for each type of activity.

Step 2: Milk Production Work Flow Diagram

On these worksheets enter each of the Inputs and Outputs you identified on your process flow diagrams. A list of the required Can-Trace information is provided. For each of the Can-Trace items, you should record what information you will use in your traceability system to satisfy that requirement. While Can-Trace standards are mainly used for information management between suppliers and their customers, they have also been used for information management between activities in your operation. This approach will help you be sure that you collect, keep and share all of the traceability information within your operation.

Step 2: Veal Production Work Flow Diagram

On these worksheets enter each of the Inputs and Outputs you identified on your process flow diagrams. A list of the required Can-Trace information is provided. For each of the Can-Trace items, you should record what information you will use in your traceability system to satisfy that requirement. While Can-Trace standards are mainly used for information management between suppliers and their customers, they have also been used for information management between activities in your operation. This approach will help you be sure that you collect, keep and share all of the traceability information within your operation.

 

Step 2: Identifying Required Information

In this step you will find compled worksheets, with examples of specific informaiton that needs to be entered into a traceability system as required using the Can-Trace Data Standards.

The Can-Trace Data Standard was created to develop the minimum information requirements to support one-up/one-down traceability, in other words, to be able to track products you receive from suppliers and for products you ship to your customer. While the Can-Trace Data Standard is mainly used for information management between suppliers and their customers, it can also be used for information management between activities in your operation. This approach will help you be sure that you collect, keep and share all of the necessary traceability information within your operation.

Using the Can-Trace Data Standard as a guide, determine what information you will use in your traceability system to meet each data element in the data standard. For example, for the data element “Lot Number”, you may choose to use the supplier’s assigned lot number to the product or generate your own new number. It is often easier to include example documents (ie: invoices, production sheets, receiving logs, shipping logs, etc.) to demonstrate that all Can-Trace data elements are being collected, kept and shared.

Also, for each Input and Output, you may want to add additional information that you would like to have captured in your traceability system, over and above the required items.

The following pages are intended to be set up to match the activities that take place in your operation, and to be used to assist you in writing your Traceability Protocols in Step 3. The completed worksheets will also highlight any information collection gaps that may exist in your traceability system.

Note: You will notice in the example that there are certain pieces of Can-Trace data elements on that the company has labeled “not necessary”. This is the case only because this information has already been captured and entered into the system previously.

Traceability Information Worksheet

 

Animal Purchase and Transport

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Receiving Animals

Activity:

1 Animal Purchase and Transport
 
Input 1: Tagged Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date Date of purchase
Ship-from location identifier Location of seller
Shipment identifier Sales invoice number, purchase order number, or animal manifest number
Sender identifier Name of seller
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed
Additional Information:
Animal Health Records Veterinary reports and any previous owner notes and reports
Animal Genetic Records Ear tag records and/or pedigree records

 

Vaccination and Medication

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Animal Care and Production
Activity: 2A & 2B Vaccination and Medication

 

Input 1: Tagged Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date Vaccination/medication administration date
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Name of vaccine/medication administrator
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed

 

Input 2: Vaccines/Medication
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Supplier lot (DIN) number
Product identifier Product name
Product description Product type
Receipt date Delivery Date
Ship-from location identifier Supplier location
Shipment identifier Invoice number
Sender identifier Supplier name
Quantity Volume
Unit of measure Unit of measure on package
Additional Information:

 

Output 1: Vaccinated/Medicated Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receiver identifier Not needed
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Ship-to location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Not needed
Ship date Vaccination/Medication Date
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed
Additional Information:
Animal Health Records Update to Veterinary reports and health records

 

Feeding and Housing

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Animal Care and Production
Activity: 3 Feeding and Housing

 

Input 1: Tagged Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date Feed Date
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Not needed
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed

 

Input 2: Feed
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Harvest date, or delivery date, or field number
Product identifier Product name
Product description Product type
Receipt date Delivery Date
Ship-from location identifier Supplier location, or field number
Shipment identifier Invoice number, of field number, or harvest date
Ship-to location identifier Storage bin number
Sender identifier Supplier name
Quantity Weight
Unit of measure Kilos
Additional Information:

 

Input 3: Feed Additives
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Manufacturer lot number
Product identifier Product name
Product description Product type
Receipt date Delivery Date
Ship-from location identifier Supplier location, or field number
Shipment identifier Invoice number, of field number, or harvest date
Ship-to location identifier Storage bin number
Sender identifier Supplier name
Quantity Weight
Unit of measure Kilos
Additional Information:

 

Output 1: Fed Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receiver identifier Not needed
Ship-from location identifier Storage bin number
Ship-to location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Not needed
Ship date Feed date
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed
Additional Information:

 

Milk Production

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Animal Care and Production
Activity: 4 Milk Production

 

Input 1: Tagged Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date Milking Date/time
Ship-from location identifier Milk station number
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed
Additional Information:

 

Output 1: Raw Milk
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Milking date/time and tank number
Product identifier Raw milk
Product description Raw milk
Receiver identifier Tank number
Ship-from location identifier Milk station number
Ship-to location identifier Tank number
Shipment identifier Milking date/time and Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Sender identifier Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Ship date Milking date/time
Quantity Volume
Unit of measure Litres or Gallons
Additional Information:

 

Milk Collection

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Bulk Tank & Shipping
Activity: 5 Milk Collection

 

Input 1: Raw Milk
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Tank number and milking date(s)
Product identifier Bulk raw milk
Product description Bulk raw milk
Receipt date Milking date(s)
Ship-from location identifier Bulk tank number
Shipment identifier Bulk tank number
Sender identifier “McCaffrey Farms”
Quantity Volume
Unit of measure Litres
Additional Information:
Cleaning water temperature Recorded temperature of cleaning water used
Storage temperature data Milk temperature records since last pick-up

 

Output 1: Raw Milk on Truck
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Pick-up form number, or date of milk pick-up
Product identifier Bulk raw milk
Product description Bulk raw milk
Receiver identifier Shipping contractor name, truck number
Ship-from location identifier Tank number
Ship-to location identifier Ship-to location noted on pick-up form
Shipment identifier Pick-up form number
Sender identifier “McCaffrey Farms”
Ship date Pick-up Date
Quantity Volume
Unit of measure Litres
Additional Information:
Copy of pick-up report Pick up report copy left in barn office

 

Output 2: Test Sample(s)
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Test invoice number
Product identifier Milk test sample number
Product description “Raw milk - Test Sample”
Receiver identifier Shipping contractor name
Ship-from location identifier Tank number
Ship-to location identifier Testing lab location
Shipment identifier Test invoice number
Sender identifier “McCaffrey Farms”
Ship date Test sample pick-up Date
Quantity Volume
Unit of measure cc’s
Additional Information:

 

Animal Breeding

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Animal Care & Production
Activity: 6 Animal Breeding

 

Input 1: Tagged Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date AI Date
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Not needed
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed

 

Input 2: Semen
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Lot number
Product identifier Bull number
Product description Bull name and description
Receipt date Date received on farm, or date of AI
Ship-from location identifier AI company location, address, and/or storage location on farm
Shipment identifier Invoice number or breeding slip number
Sender identifier AI technician and company name
Quantity Volume
Unit of measure cc’s
Additional Information:
Expiry date Semen expiry date

 

Output 1: Inseminated Animal
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date Date of AI
Receiver identifier Semen lot number, or bull name & number
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Ship-to location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Breeding slip number
Sender identifier Not needed
Ship date Date of AI
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed
Additional Information:
Copy of breeding slip Filed in barn office

 

Animal Birthing

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Animal Care & Production
Activity: 7 Animal Birthing

 

Input 1: Inseminated Animal
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date AI Date
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Not needed
Sender identifier Not needed
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed
Additional Information:
Expected delivery date Expected delivery date

 

Output 1: Birthed Animal (Calf)
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed, colour
Receipt date Date of birth
Receiver identifier Not needed
Ship-from location identifier dam ear tag number/RFID tag number
Ship-to location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Date of birth
Sender identifier dam ear tag number/RFID tag number
Ship date Date of birth
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed

 

Output 1: Birthed Animal (Dam)
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed
Receipt date Date of calving
Receiver identifier Not needed
Ship-from location identifier Not needed
Ship-to location identifier Not needed
Shipment identifier Date of calving
Sender identifier Ear tag number/ RFID tag of calf
Ship date Date of calving
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed

 

Animal Shipping and Sales

Company: McCaffrey Farms
Department: Animal Shipping
Activity: 8 Animal Shipping and Sales

 

Output 1: Tagged Animals
Can-Trace Information: What we will use:
Lot number Ear tag number/ RFID tag
Product identifier Animal name (if used)
Product description Breed, colour
Receipt date Date of sale
Receiver identifier Name of purchaser
Ship-from location identifier “McCaffrey Farms”
Ship-to location identifier Purchaser’s location address
Shipment identifier Animal manifest number
Sender identifier “McCaffrey Farms”
Ship date Date of transport
Quantity Number of animals
Unit of measure Not needed

 

Step 3: Preparing Your Traceability Protocol

A traceability Protocol is a series of procedures that will tell people in your operation how to capture and record the traceability information outlined on the worksheets completed in Step 2.

For each of the activities described in your process flow diagram and included in your worksheets, you will:

  1. Identify the activity area by name and by number.
  2. Briefly describe the activity that takes place in the area.
  3. Identify who is responsible for the activity and for capturing and entering traceability information.
  4. Describe the steps taken in each activity to capture the traceability information and where the information is kept.

Protocols should be in a standard format that suits your own operation.

Once again, it is important to note that the samples provided are based on the fictitious milk producer and therefore have more or less steps then, for example, a meat processing location or a sheep production operation.

 

Traceability Protocol

 

Animal Purchase and Receiving

Activity: Animal Purchase and Transport

Summary: Select, purchase and transport animals to McCaffrey Farms. Prepare temporary pens for animals scheduled for delivery. Meet transporter of newly acquired stock. Assist in unloading from truck(s). Move animals into pens.

Responsible: Farm Manager

  1. Select animal(s) to be purchased via visit to breeder, sale barn or show.
  2. Complete purchase order and provide to owner or agent.
  3. Obtain genetic records (required) and health records (if available) for each animal.
  4. Prepare animals for transport and load animal(s) onto truck(s). Provide destination and route to driver(s). Include biosecurity requirements regarding access to and movement on the farm.
  5. When animals arrive at McCaffrey Farms, scan the RFID ear tag numbers of the newly acquired animals into the electronic record system, and match the numbers to the RFID tag numbers listed on the animal manifest or purchase order.
  6. Secure McCaffrey Farm’s management ear tags for each animal, and link to the RFID tag numbers in the electronic record system and in the herd log. Remove any old management tag numbers and record old tag numbers beside the new McCaffrey tag number in the herd log.
  7. Record the arrival date of the animals in the herd log, and record where the animals were placed upon arrival. Move the animals from the receiving pens to the barn or field.
  8. File the animal manifest or purchase order in the farm office. Update the central electronic records with information from the animal manifest or purchase order to include shipment and supplier information.

 

Animal Care and Production

Activity: Animal Medication

Summary: Prepare and administer vaccinations to newly arrived animals, as required. Record vaccination.

Responsible: Farm Manager

  1. Identify requirement for vaccination from health records received with incoming animals. Record animal management tag numbers in the herd log and scan RFID tags into the electronic system. Discuss and plan vaccinations with farm owner.
  2. Receive vaccines into the farm, recording the vaccine lot number, and the receipt date on the invoice. File the invoice in the farm office. Store the vaccine as recommended by the supplier.
  3. Withdraw sufficient vaccine(s) and needles/applicators from stores and record the withdrawals in the stores log.
  4. Prepare vaccine doses as prescribed.
  5. Administer vaccine as prescribed. Record the volume administered to each animal, the animal management tag number, the date of vaccination, and the administrator in the herd log.
  6. Update electronic record in central system, linking the vaccination information to the animal RFID tag.

 

Animal Care and Production

Activity: Animal Vaccination

Summary: Prepare and administer medications as directed by a veterinarian or by the farm owner. Record application of medication.

Responsible: Farm Manager

  1. Receive medication direction from veterinarian. Record animal management tag numbers in the herd log and scan RFID tags into the electronic system. Discuss and plan medication with farm owner.
  2. Record medications lot number, supplier information, and the administration date in the herd log.
  3. Withdraw sufficient medication and needles/applicators from stores and record the withdrawals in the stores log.
  4. Prepare doses as prescribed.
  5. Administer medication as prescribed. Record the volume administered to each animal, the animal management tag number, the date of medication, and the administrator in the herd log.
  6. Update electronic record in central system, linking the medication information to the animal RFID tag.

 

Animal Care and Production

Activity: Feeding/Housing

Summary: Provide feed and water to production animals. Update central electronic records with all feed and additive use.

Responsible: Farm workers

  1. Order in feed and feed additives on an as needed basis.
  2. Feed produced on farm is brought in from harvest or storage. Record the field number, the feed type, harvest date, or storage location in the feed log. Record the bin number the feed is put in. Record if the feed is being added to partial bin of existing feed in the feed log.
  3. Feed additives are ordered from a supplier and arrive on farm with an invoice. Record the bin number that the feed additives are put in on the invoice. File the feed additive invoice in the farm office. Record the invoice number, bin number, feed type, and receipt date, and if the feed additives are being added to a partial bin of existing feed additives, in the feed log.
  4. Combine feed and feed additives as noted on the feed schedule in the barn office.
  5. Record use of feed additives (date) in the feed log.
  6. Refill feed containers in each stall. Record any unusual observations in the feed log.
  7. Update all feed log entries in the central electronic system.

Animal Care and Production

Activity: Milk Production

Summary: Connect milking machine and ensure proper operation so that milk is delivered to the bulk tank(s). Provide basic care to the cows to provide comfort, cleanliness and good health.

Record daily production in the central electronic system

Record milk level and the milk temperature in the bulk tank(s) in the central system

Responsible: Farm workers

  1. Clean the teats and udders as described in the procedures manual in then barn office.
  2. On the posted schedule, connect each cow to the milking machine, taking care that the milk is flowing and that the animal is not experiencing discomfort.
  3. When the flow has stopped, disconnect the machine and release the cow back to the open barn area.
  4. Take the milk log from the barn office and enter the daily production record into the central system.
  5. Twice daily, record the milk level in the bulk tank(s) in the milk log.
  6. Twice daily, record the temperature readings on the bulk tank(s) in the milk log.
  7. At the end of each day, transfer the milk levels and the temperatures into the central system.

 

Bulk Tank and Shipping

Activity: Milk Collection

Summary: On a pre-arranged schedule, a milk hauler contracted by Dairy Farmers of Ontario visits the farm to collect all milk in the bulk tank(s). The contractor prepares test samples to be taken with the load, and leaves a collection record in the farm office.

Record milk pick-up in the central electronic system.

Responsible: Contract hauler

  1. Arrive on the farm. Follow biosecurity procedures for access and travel.
  2. Take sample(s) from the bulk tank(s); label and seal.
  3. Place the samples in the cooler on the truck.
  4. Pump all milk in the bulk tank(s) into the tanker truck and close the tank valve when finished.
  5. Record volume and weight on a pick-up form, and leave a copy of the form in the farm office.
  6. Leave the premises. Follow biosecurity procedures for travel and egress.
  7. Take the milk pick-up form from the barn office and enter the volume, date and sample number record(s) into the central system.

 

Animal Care and Production

Activity: Animal Breeding

Summary: Artificial insemination of cows.

Responsible: Farm Manager & AI Technician

  1. When semen is pre-purchased, upon arrival record on invoice the lot number of the semen and the storage location. Place the invoice in the AI folder in the office.
  2. Update the electronic records to include the invoice number, lot number, bull name, number & description, date received on farm, supplier name, address, contact info, quantity received and expiry date.
  3. Breeding is done by an AI service technician. Semen is purchased at the time of breeding and the information is recorded on the breeding slip. Record the ear tag number of the cow inseminated on the breeding slip.
  4. Update the electronic records to reflect the breeding slip information, including the date of service, customer name, service number, name of bull, sire registration number, item code, batch number, cow name, cow RFID tag number, and the AI technician’s name.

 

Animal Care and Production

Activity: Animal Birthing

Summary: Animal is born and entered into the system.

Responsible: Farm Manager

Births of animals are recorded in the herd log, including sire, dam, d.o.b., RFID tag number, McCaffrey tag number, colour, calving ease, plus any other remarks.

Calf is tagged with a McCaffrey tag at time of birth, when possible. RFID may be tagged at birth or upon first available time through chute to safely tag animal.

Calf is kept with its dam until weaning.

Update the electronic records with the calving information recorded in the herd log.

 

Animal Shipping

Activity: Animal Shipping and Sales

Summary: Select animals for shipping. Prepare animal manifest. Send animal manifest with the transport driver.

Responsible: Farm Manager

Select animal(s) to be shipped to the auction barn for sale, for private sale, or to the abattoir for slaughter.

Prepare an animal manifest which will include the RFID tag numbers of the animals, animal management tag number, animal name and/or breed, date of sale, date of transport, origin of shipment, name and address where cattle will be shipped to, name of trucker, and the number of cattle shipped.

File a copy of the animal manifest in the barn office.

As the cattle board the truck, scan the RFID tag of each animal into the central electronic system, and update the record to reflect the movement of the animal.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: traceability@ontario.ca


Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 06 June 2011
Last Reviewed: 12 Feb 2013