SALT LAKE CITY – ReposiTrak, the largest network of connected suppliers through its supply chain, food safety and supplier management technology solutions, welcomes the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration has finalized the Traceability Rule 204 to the Food Safety Modernization Act Section 204 (FSMA 204) and sent the final rule to the Office of the Federal Register to be published. The news marks the beginning of a transition to tech-enabled traceability, a disruptor for the industry that is expected to significantly improve the safety of the global food supply chain. ReposiTrak has already garnered important industry support, being named the exclusive traceability partner of the National Grocers Association for the low-cost, easy-to-adopt solution: the ReposiTrak Traceability Network®.
“Traceability isn’t just a tactic for companies that need to comply with FSMA 204 because their products appear on the Food Traceability List; it’s a good business practice for any forward-focused food supply chain operator,” said ReposiTrak Chairman and CEO Randy Fields. “The FDA has sent a strong signal that this is only the beginning. Our solution gets you compliant with FSMA 204 and sets you up for traceability for any product with no software or hardware to install, no additional labor from traditional label scanning methods and it’s the lowest cost solution there is. All this is what has helped us to gain wide-spread industry support.”
FSMA 204 requires companies that manufacture, process, pack or hold foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL) to establish and maintain Key Data Element (KDE) records for specific Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) in a product’s journey through the supply chain. As that product changes hands or changes form, a compounding string of data must be transferred between trading partners to provide full, end-to-end traceability. FDA statements about the rule encourage “voluntary adoption of these practices industry wide.” The FTL includes 16 of the most vulnerable fresh foods categories including tomatoes, deli salads, nut butters and leafy greens and the thousands of SKUs within each category.
Due to the complexity of FSMA 204 recordkeeping requirements, traditional scanning and labeling methods and legacy technology systems will not be adequate. Labels can carry product lot code data, but generally don’t include other required data elements, like transporter info, and time/date of shipment, which are required for a complete KDE record. Label scanning also requires major investment in software and hardware that would impose a significant cost burden on the supply chain. Simply put, the need is for a system over and above labeling to reduce scanning labor, cost and complexity. That is where ReposiTrak excels.
ReposiTrak estimates that retailers and wholesalers will be individually responsible for millions of KDE traceability records per year, which poses two immediate issues. First is the challenge of ingesting information delivered in myriad formats from supplier lists that sometimes climb into the thousands. Second is the issue of data storage and being able to retrieve and send the information in a sortable spreadsheet to the FDA within 24 hours when requested. Furthermore, suppliers are being required to create, store and exchange more information than ever before. The risk is that suppliers will be sending that information in a format that their trading partners will no longer be able to accept. Without the right digital solution, this will be an improbable task. The only solution for the total food supply chain is a technology that acts as a universal translation service, enabling the seamless exchange of data, regardless of format.
“FSMA 204 will have the impact of changing the way every shipment and every delivery record are managed at every food store, restaurant, foodservice company, quick service restaurant and distribution center in the country,” continued Fields. “The focus now needs to shift to rapidly rolling out our easy and economical solution. The ReposiTrak Traceability Network combines the largest, already-connected network of more than 110,000 individual supplier facilities with the support of the industry. Starting now will allow you to successfully comply with FSMA 204 in time for the deadline.”
The ReposiTrak Traceability Network was developed as an answer to industry concerns brought forth by the Food Traceability Leadership Consortium, a group of industry trade organizations, wholesalers and retailers that set out the objectives a low-cost, easy-to-use food traceability solution that meets and exceeds FSMA 204 requirements. For that reason, suppliers can connect to an unlimited number of trading partners and begin sharing data for a low, flat fee and there is no cost to retailers – features that are especially important in today’s inflationary economic environment. Additionally, a recent poll from ReposiTrak and the National Grocers Association revealed that operational concerns are the biggest hurdle to adopting traceability. Connecting to the network takes less than one hour and ReposiTrak’s team of experts is always there to help.
Food supply chain operators interested in the ReposiTrak Traceability Network should contact Derek Hannum (DHannum@repositrak.com).
ReposiTrak, Park City Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCYG), provides retailers, suppliers and wholesalers with a robust solution suite to help reduce risk and remain in compliance with regulatory requirements; enhance operational controls; source and discover new vendors; and increase sales with unrivaled brand protection. Consisting of four product families – food traceability, compliance and risk management, supply chain solutions and MarketPlace sourcing – ReposiTrak’s cloud-based platform’s integrated applications are mutually reinforcing and work synergistically to create value and positive impact. For more information, please visit https://repositrak.com/