An agritech business has launched a new data-driven tool that seeks to achieve better consistency in beef carcasses and minimise waste across the supply chain.

Breedr, established in 2018 and registered in Chichester, was founded by Ian Wheal, who is from an Australian cattle family farming background. Mr Wheal says Breedr has invested over £2.2 million in developing the app, with full industry consultation to create a tool to lift productivity across the supply chain.

The funding includes a £236,000 grant from Innovate UK to lead the development of a Smart Contracts system for the meat and livestock sector that uses blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) to capture the complicated flows of data and transactions between multiple parties, improving transparency and trust. Most of the funds were raised through a seed round led by London’s Local Global, with investment from Mons Investment and other industry angel investors who joined early backers Forward Partners and Gumtree founder Michael Pennington.

“Our vision is to radically change livestock production, so the industry can deliver meat of consistently high eating quality for consumers, with less waste and higher returns for farmers,” he says. “With AHDB figures showing a drop in meat sales – both in terms of volume and value – Breedr is making its powerful precision livestock app free of charge to drive productivity improvements across the whole value chain.”

The Breedr app connects to a secure trading network on the cloud. It collates information on an individual beef animal – live weight gain; feed; health and parentage – to predict its performance and optimum sales date. This digital profile can be matched with a contract and traded online – the producer has an assured sale while the buyers can easily source prime beef that meets contract specifications. Breedr can connect to BCMS and allows traceability from farm to retailer and back again.

“Meat is now a luxury product and we need to be ensuring consistent quality with the highest standards and sustainability, adds East Sussex beef farmer Ian Sturmer, one of the first to trial the Breedr app. “With Breedr, we have become aware of the importance of breeding. Variance in the quality of the bulls within a breed is staggering.

“With the support of Breedr, we are now considering selecting the semen and working with dairy farmer calf suppliers to improve growth rate, performance and meat quality. We can breed animals that use less feed, grow more and taste better, with a more powerful, complete supply chain analysis from the dairy farm right the way through to consumption.

“If we are going to have a vibrant beef sector in the UK and take advantage of the many export opportunities, I think it’s of paramount importance that we try to reshape the industry.”