Irish food safety firm in €17m Swiss deal

An Irish food safety and traceability company is targeting a number of nationwide deals with EU member states after signing a €17m deal which will see it guarantee the integrity of all of Switzerland’s beef production.

Identigen started as a Trinity College Dublin campus company in 1996.

Dublin-based Identigen has signed the five-year contract — which will see it use its DNA-based software to trace all Swiss beef — with Proviande, the umbrella body for Switzerland’s beef industry.

“Traceability has shifted from being a ‘technical’ requirement to being a mechanism to underpin brand integrity and industry profitability. This deal demonstrates that DNA identification technology is increasingly scalable and can ensure the integrity of natonal meat brands. To underscore animal welfare, sustainability and ethical production claims, industry and consumers want certainty on where meat is coming from,” said Thomas Struckmeyer, head of Identigen’s Swiss operations.

He said that DNA traceability has become highly relevant to the mass market, consumer behaviour and for national brands, adding that it is set to play a key role in the future of the meat industry across the EU, the UK and North America.

Identigen — which started as a Trinity College Dublin campus company in 1996 and has been heavily backed by Enterprise Ireland funding partner MML Capital Partners Ireland — was integral in the detection of the horsemeat scare four years ago. Co-founder and director Ronan Loftus said more national deals are planned, adding that similar discussions to the Swiss deal, with other European countries, are being held.

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