Trinity campus firm in landmark deal with Tesco

29 Nov 2006

A company that spun out of the Institute of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin has landed a major deal with Tesco to use its proprietary technology to guarantee the quality and safety of the retail giant’s beef products.

Dublin-based IdentiGen’s DNA TraceBack system is based on DNA samples taken from each animal, similar to the use of DNA for forensic identification of humans. As an identifier, DNA is unique, accurate, permanent and tamper-proof.

The technology was designed by researchers at the Institute of Genetics and enables identification of products at every stage of the supply chain.

“DNA-based traceability provides an added level to the quality assurance our customers have come to expect from Tesco, guaranteeing the origin of all of the beef they buy in our Irish stores whilst underpinning the claims of the premium products we sell,” said Liam Forsyth, TESCO Ireland’s meat buyer.

“With IdentiGen’s DNA TraceBack system we can identify and trace the origin of beef from all of our suppliers to our customers using a system that is based on innovative science so it is accurate, reliable and cost effective for us to use.”

IdentiGen was founded in 1996 by a team of scientists recognised as pioneers in the field of population genetics. The company is privately held and venture backed.

The agreement will allow IdentiGen to extend its services to a larger segment of shoppers in Ireland through Tesco’s chain of supermarkets, said the company’s director of commercial development Ronan Loftus.

“We are especially pleased to note that Tesco will be using IdentiGen’s DNA TraceBack brand on their private label beef to communicate the important claims they make to consumers,” said Loftus. “Given the value of Tesco’s private label brands, their desire to co-brand underscores the value they place on DNA TraceBack’s customer assurance.”

By John Kennedy