The Beef InfoXchange System or “BIXS” aims to add value to the Canadian cattle industry by improving communication and feedback between each link in the beef value chain.
It was originally launched by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association in 2009, and in 2014 CCA partnered with ViewTrak Technologies to privatize the system. Now, another milestone announcement — an agreement with Cargill will see the large beef packing company submit carcass data into the database. Cargill is one of the first major players to “jump in the pool.”
In theory, cow-calf producers, backgrounders and feedlots would receive information from packers on carcass quality and how they could make their animals more valuable, while packers and retailers would have the ability to view supplier data and source animals according to characteristics that they value. McDonald’s Verified Sustainable beef program requires participation in BIXS, and producers should receive a premium for their participation in the program.
The challenge with this industry-wide data-sharing concept is that it requires buy-in, and not everybody wants to share their data, especially if it’s not clear how they’ll benefit. “What’s in it for us?” is a question many people are asking. The number of ranchers currently participating is a long ways off from where the people running BIXS would like it to be.
Do you, or would you participate? Let us know what you think of BIXS and feel free to add comments below: