CCA partners with ViewTrak Technologies to expand Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS)

Calgary, AB - The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) today announced that it is partnering with ViewTrak Technologies, a world-class technology and traceability company based in Edmonton, to enhance and expand the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS). Under the partnership, a new privately-held company will take ownership of BIXS, with the CCA and ViewTrak as initial shareholders. Hubert Lau, Executive Vice-President of ViewTrak, will lead the company as President and Chief Executive Officer and Ted Power, President of ViewTrak, will take on the role of Executive Vice-President.

“Partnering with industry to expand BIXS’ reach and potential has always been our vision,” said Rob McNabb, General Manager of the CCA. “ViewTrak has a solid track record in the livestock information technology industry. With their strong financials, international experience, and a worldwide network, the Viewtrak team has the expertise and resources to help CCA maximize the BIXS system for the benefit of the entire supply chain and consumers seeking information on beef production.”

The priorities of the new entity will be to increase the functionality of BIXS to allow producers to better track information and manage their businesses, continue to engage industry stakeholders in expanding BIXS’ role in supporting a strong and sustainable Canadian beef industry, and to improve the response to the growing demand by consumers and retailers for verifiable and sustainable beef products.

“The challenge and the opportunity for the Canadian cattle industry is to work together to create value by sharing information through the supply chain, so that everyone can realize the dream of increased profitability and competiveness,” said Lau. “Producers have to date largely been asked to shoulder the burden of change. But there is enormous value in collaborating while remaining fiercely competitive with one another—this is called “collaborative economics.” It’s a way to circle the wagons, to enhance the competitiveness of the industry, and create best practices that will allow the Canadian cattle industry and Canadian beef to dominate world markets,” Lau added. “This is the vision for the new BIXS we’re creating.”

Lau points to the recent statement by Loblaws, Canada’s largest food retailer, that it will begin selling sustainable beef, and supports efforts by McDonald’s to establish its sustainable beef program, as the direction industry is heading. “Collaborating for the benefit of everyone in the industry and meeting the demands of retailers and consumers is the only effective way forward,” he said.
ViewTrak produces China’s leading pork grading tool and is a partner in the Canadian Lamb Cooperative Grading Program. ViewTrak has also created a web-based software program for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture that allows enrolled producers to make specific marketing claims about the quality of their beef.

With 3 million detailed carcass records and 3.4 million animal birthdate records in the system BIXS is the largest database of its kind in Canada.

The CCA is the national voice of Canada’s 68,500 beef operations. Founded by producers and led by a producer-elected board of directors, CCA works to address issues that concern Canada’s beef producers.

Click here for Lau’s speaking notes.

Contact for Hubert Lau: Joni Avram 403-617-5496 or joni@causeeffect.ca
Contact for CCA’s Rob McNabb:


Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306
403-875-3616 |
teelg@cattle.ca
www.cattle.ca

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
Backgrounder

BIXS Backgrounder

BIXS was established in 2009 as a platform for information sharing. Building on its strengths, the CCA has been working to enhance and expand BIXS. The CCA has been improving the functionality of the system and recently introduced a new version, still in BETA stage (BIXS 2.0).

A long-term condition of funding for BIXS was that it eventually become self-sustaining. Once BIXS was functional, the CCA always intended to join forces with industry to maximize BIXS’ reach and potential. To ensure BIXS sustainability, the CCA needed at least one strong industry stakeholder to step up and assume a vested and guiding role.

CCA has held consultations with industry stakeholders on the role of BIXS in supporting a strong and sustainable Canadian beef industry, and discussed at length the potential for working with other partners to realize its objectives. After months of investigation and due diligence, the CCA approved the partnership with ViewTrak based its strong technology background, track record in the livestock industry, and Hubert and Ted’s personal leadership strengths.

Under the partnership agreement, ViewTrak will provide capital to improve and expand BIXS. The Board of the new company will have 5 directors, 2 each from CCA and ViewTrak and the fifth director acceptable to both ViewTrak and CCA. Experienced BIXS staff will continue on with the new entity. If the partnership is unable to build BIXS into the business they envision, BIXS will revert to the CCA.

Current BIXS users will not experience any interruption in service. The BIXS database includes information about individual animal and carcass data, management protocols, and health treatments. No personal Information will be shared through the system; users remain anonymous until they choose to contact a sourcer of information.

Hubert Lau has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry and has consulted with over 1000 companies. He founded Ekota Central Ltd, an Edmonton based IT networking and software development company, that serves small and medium sized firms, as well as federal, provincial and civic government IT needs across Canada. Lau has been actively involved in software development projects between China and Canada.

Ted Power formed Trace Applications Inc., a software development company that produces the MetalTrace®, the world’s #1 metals industry Mill Test Report (MTR) software, used by companies that manufacture, distribute or fabricate using high grade steel and alloy products in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, India, China and Australia and has more users than any competing product.

The objectives of the new entity include:

•Better outcomes for producers, who will be able to better manage their businesses, enhance their breeding and marketing programs, and increase the overall value of their product leading to increased profits and competitiveness.
•Better sharing of information that benefits the entire supply chain and consumers.
•Ability to respond more effectively to food safety emergencies, and reduce market disruptions.
•Satisfied consumers who are more confident in their beef supply, more interested in buying beef, and who have more choices about how much they pay for their beef according to the characteristics they value.

For further information, contact:
Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306
403-875-3616 |
teelg@cattle.ca

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L-R Hubert Lau and Ted Power

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L-R Larry Thomas, Hubert Lau and Ted Power