qbox offers win-win for producers and processors

Beef producers in Scotland may soon have the opportunity to click a computer mouse and log on to a comprehensive analysis of how their cattle perform at the processing stage of the supply chain.

Quality Meat Scotland, the red meat industry promotional and development body, has funded a trial of qbox Suckler, an online web browser, with a leading Scottish red meat processor.

QMS believes the results are impressive and is confident it could lead to a roll-out in the processing sector across Scotland.

Industry development manager Andy McGowan said: "This is a completely new system for Scotland, which we believe has the potential to dramatically increase the amount of useful feedback that producers receive on the performance of their cattle.

"It's easy to use and, by simply entering their own herd number, producers can select according to sex, breed and time period to see how any animals they have produced fared against the abattoir average for the same period. The system is sophisticated enough to help assess the impact of herd management changes, such as different feeding regimes, highlighting areas where profitability can be improved.

"The results of the pilot have been so impressive that we are confident other processors in Scotland will see merit in introducing it to their own businesses. It's a win-win situation for both producers and processors because use of the system has the potential to further improve the overall quality of beef being produced in Scotland."

qbox works by uploading data from each kill in the abattoir. Producers log on to the web portal, using their own specific name and password and, once authenticated, are able to browse across a number of categories including Grading Analysis, Health Faults and Breed Performance.