September 23, 2023

Food Traceability Leadership Consortium implements traceability solution

With the FDA in the process of finalizing new regulations requiring the food industry to trace thousands of products in the supply chain from beginning to end, the Food Traceability Leadership Consortium (FTLC), is implementing a food traceability solution that will meet or exceed FDA requirements at a cost that will have no material impact on supplier margins or consumer prices.

The FTLC, which includes some of the largest retailers and wholesalers in the U.S., was formed to explore potential solutions to address the FDA mandate. The FTLC quickly developed a set of guiding principles for solution evaluation: low cost, easy to implement and meets or exceeds FDA guidelines. Based on these principles, the Consortium is engaging the ReposiTrak global supply chain platform to form a Traceability Network solution for end-to-end traceability.

“The challenge posed by FSMA Section 204 is unprecedented and will require the collaboration of literally thousands of companies to share key data elements for shipments,” Randy Fields, chairman and CEO for ReposiTrak, said. “For more than 20 years the ReposiTrak platform has captured, managed and shared data up, down and across the supply chain on a massive scale, and done so at extremely low costs for our customers. Our current supply chain and supplier compliance platform forms a network of more than 300,000 facilities, from farms to stores, which makes ReposiTrak uniquely positioned to deliver on the FDA traceability mandate.”

The Traceability Network built on the ReposiTrak platform will electronically extract key data elements (KDEs) from existing supplier systems and documents at critical tracking events (CTEs) to “stitch” together an electronic pedigree of each product. Because the solution leverages existing ReposiTrak technology and the facility network mirrors the food supply chain, the cost can be spread across the network to deliver a solution that is easy to adopt and affordable for even the smallest suppliers.

“A patchwork of dozens of systems and schemes all trying to maximize a good return will impose crippling expense and operational complexity on the industry, which will ultimately hurt the consumer,” added Fields. “By leveraging an established network solution that is already highly scaled but has plenty of capacity, we can deliver extraordinarily low-cost traceability for everyone in the supply chain, with minimal operational and financial impact.”

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