The British Columbia (BC) Egg Marketing Board is using IBM analytics to save money, reduce workload, improve farmers’ profitability and ensure the safety and availability of the more than 816 million eggs produced in the province each year.
The BC Egg Marketing Board is responsible for planning and controlling BC’s egg production, to ensure supply meets fluctuating demand. The Board works with more than 130 egg producers, overseeing 2.7 million chickens.
Using analytics from IBM, the BC Egg Marketing Board is now able to integrate and analyse production and inspection data from hundreds of farms across the province and perform complex calculations on chick maturation and egg-laying life-spans, to determine the number of chickens needed in production to meet demand and to scale hatchery operations accordingly. The system also includes the potential for the Board to pinpoint the flock a particular egg came from, in the event of a disease outbreak.
“We’re now being proactive in improving the quality and safety of egg production processes and products,” said Anne-Marie Butler, director of finance and administration at the BC Egg Marketing Board. “By making data easier to collect, analyse and share, we are seeing efficiencies that allow us to go beyond the bare minimum for compliance.”
Previously, data collection was paper-intensive, manual and disjointed, but with the analytics solution, real-time production data from all farms is captured electronically, while data about egg safety and other inspection criterion is collected and entered by on-site inspectors using tablets. This has reduced farm inspection workload by 66%, and created an annual cost savings of $100,000.
The BC Egg Marketing Board