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Agricultural News

Performance Food Group Emphasizes Traceability and Training Through Beef Programs

Wed, 09 Sep 2015 13:08:44 CDT

Performance Food Group Emphasizes Traceability and Training Through Beef Programs

A national foodservice distributor is proving to their customers that they have their back. Performance Food Group has helped align the beef industry through their program called Path Proven. Dr. Brad Morgan is a meat scientist and he serves as the senior director of protein. Since joining the company in January, he has been working on the traceability program for several areas including beef, which connects the consumer and the food service company back to the producer.

"We're going to trace the path of where this animal came from, until it ends up on our plate in your restaurant today," Morgan said.

Performance Food Group develops and markets meat products to more than 150,000 independent and national chain restaurants, quick-service eateries, pizzerias, theaters, schools, hotels, health care facilities and other institutions. Morgan said food service establishments really like the Path Proven model. One of his customers said all she wanted was to know was that they were getting good product and that the foodservice company had their back. The customer said that would allow her to sleep better at night knowing they were serving the best product possible to their friends, family and customers, so she can be confident in knowing where the animal came from and how the animal was treated and she could answer any questions with an educated response.

"We're just making sure we're doing what we say we're going to do, we do it on a consistent basis, we make it as cost effective as we can and we're telling that story," Morgan said. "That story has to be told and that is part of the program that we're trying to sell that accompanies all the produce, all the beef, all the protein that we sell to end-users."

Performance Food Group is also involved with a program called Progressive Beef. Morgan said this is similar to the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, which has worked well for cow-calf operators. He said Progressive Beef works much better in a feedyard situation, because of the number of employees that work at a feedyard. The program requires every employee be certified. Morgan said Progressive Beef uses animal handling guidelines that were developed by Colorado State University Professor of Livestock Behavior & Welfare Dr. Temple Grandin and third party audits are conducted annually at each participating feedyard and packing plant.

To date, Path Proven has been developed for food service outlets, but Morgan said there is also growing interest in the program from large retailers. If major retailers join the program, he said this would change the way business is done. Overall, he said the program doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it documents what food animal producers already do, along with training people, eliminating inefficiencies in the system and making sure animals are treated humanely.

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Dr. Morgan in Ardmore at the Southern Plains Beef Symposium. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

Click or tap here to hear the full interview.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Brad Morgan
right-click to download mp3


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