Japan is one of the countries that have mastered the art of traceability when it comes to livestock production. All animals' genetics are traced back generations on databases accessible by anyone. All this comes to show that the producers of Wagyu in Japan have been studying genetics for a long, long, long time. Genetics are also taken it into serious consideration when inspecting carcasses prior to auctions.
When a selector in a Wagyu auction purchases a carcass, they aren't only looking at the grade. They are also looking at the genetic line, amongst other aspects such as how many months the animal was raised, where it was raised, by whom it was raised, and more! The genetic lines will show that the carcass will have harder or softer meat, lighter or stronger taste, leaner or more marbled round, and many other factors. The age of the animal gives an idea of the melting point. And that’s just the tip of it all.
TRACING BACK FIVE GENERATIONS
We researched the 10 digit number (0866755670) of the Picanha (Top Coulotte) and entered it on the National Livestock Breeding Center's Search Service of Individual Identification Information of Cattle where we can view all the information about the animal. This is the pinnacle when it comes to knowing where your food comes from.
As you can see on the image above, we found that our meat came from an animal that was born on September 27th, 2018 in Hokkaido Prefecture. On top of that, we can see when it was transferred from the breeding farm to the feeding farm, on August 21st, 2019. It also shows the breed (Kuroge Washu), gender (Female), as well as the Identification Number of the maternal parent. We then traced the 10 digit number of the maternal parent, then the maternal grandparent, and so forth. It showed us detailed information of 5 generations leading to the Picanha we enjoyed.
In a world where Traceability has become one of the most important factors when deciding where to buy beef, Japan has been at the forefront of it by having a system that traces every single animal back to its origin.