Fully DNA-traceable fresh premium Alberta pork from Sturgeon Valley Pork, an Alberta, Canada, pork processor, has been introduced at all 15 Freson Bros. grocery stores in Alberta. Sturgeon Valley Farms’ Premium Alberta Pork, an exclusive joint brand with Freson Bros., is among the first Canadian meat processors to employ the state-of-the-art DNA traceability system called DNA TraceBack from IdentiGEN Canada to trace its pork from the grocer's meat case back to the processing plant and farm of origin.

"DNA TraceBack allows us to guarantee that 100 percent of Sturgeon Valley’s pork is premium Alberta pork, sourced from local farms. It is also our guarantee to Freson Bros. of the product’s high quality," said Dan Majeau, one of the principals at Sturgeon Valley Pork.

Sturgeon Valley Pork is a federally inspected processing plant that supplies fresh pork to grocers in Western Canada. The company works closely with local pork producers to deliver consistently high-quality pork with a focus on freshness and food safety. Freson Bros.’ market research found that 96 percent of its customers value local Alberta products, and 73 percent said they would favor stores that featured Albertan products.

“When we made the decision to source all of our pork from local Alberta farms, we wanted DNA traceability to give assurances to our customers,” said Doug Lovsin, V.P. of operations at Freson Bros. “The DNA TraceBack seal is on the package for the consumer to see.”

In early 2009, Sturgeon Valley Pork began using the meat tracking system called DNA TraceBack, developed by IdentiGEN, Inc., which has been in use in Europe since 2000. Under the system, DNA samples are taken from Sturgeon Valley hogs at the processing plant and then again at the retail store. Samples are sent to IdentiGEN's U.S. laboratory in Lawrence, Kan., where their unique DNA identifiers are used to verify product origins.

Source: Sturgeon Valley Pork