REPOSITRAK TRACEABILITY NETWORK®
RESOURCE CENTER

You’re here because your customer has made it a requirement for your company to do traceability. For certain foods, traceability is also a requirement of the law under the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Action Section 204(d) or FSMA 204.

The ReposiTrak Traceability Network® enables the fast, easy exchange of Traceability Lot Codes and other traceability information known as Key Data Elements (KDEs), the term used by the FDA to describe the specific pieces of data used to track the path of products through the supply chain.

At the end of this process, you will be part of the ReposiTrak Traceability Network, ready to share traceability information with your customer to meet their requirement.

We’ve created a quick primer for you to review to get up-to-speed on traceability and on your customer’s requirement. Then, we’ll walk you through a few guided steps to provide information about your KDEs.

Traceability is the process of creating and storing records about a product as it moves, end-to-end, through the supply chain.

The FDA’s FSMA 204 food traceability rule states that the goal of traceability is “to create a safer, more transparent food supply chain [through] the faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer foodborne illnesses and/or deaths.”

ReposiTrak uses the Traceability Lot Code associated with each product to track pieces of information as the product changes hands or changes form. These pieces of information or “Key Data Elements (KDEs)” include information about where the product was shipped from, where it was received, when transactions or transformations occurred, how much of the product was delivered, and the timing of the deliveries to the store or warehouse.

Each time you ship to your customer, these records have to get created, and that’s the job of ReposiTrak.

KDEs include a combination of static and transactional information often found in different types of systems that you probably already have set up today. ReposiTrak collects the KDEs from your existing systems and assembles the KDEs into KDE records through automation.

KDEs are the building blocks of “KDE Records,” which are required by your customer and by the FDA to do traceability.

Here are some examples of KDEs and where they can be found:

  • Static information such as the Traceability Lot Code or Batch Lot Code for the food, as well as the addresses of the shipping and receiving locations, typically appears on a Bill of Lading (BOL).
  • Transactional information, such as the date that a shipment was sent or received, might be found in a Warehouse Management System (WMS) or accounting system.

CLICK HERE to view the complete list of KDEs and their definitions on the ReposiTrak Traceability Network Companion Page.

Here’s a closer look at how we use your data and your customer’s data to construct a complete KDE Receiving Record for your customer. Remember, the FDA requires a KDE Record at each Critical Tracking Event (CTE). You will be required to create your own KDE Shipping Record, we will be creating your customer’s KDE Receiving record.

When you ship your product to your customer, there are multiple KDE Records that gets created starting with your data.

Your KDE Shipping Record

Your Customer’s KDE Receiving Record at the DC/Warehouse

Your Customer’s KDE Shipping Record from the DC/Warehouse

Your Customer’s KDE Receiving Record at the Store

Are there tutorials about using the ReposiTrak application?

Yes, please visit the ReposiTrak Training Guides page to view tutorials for using various parts of the ReposiTrak application.

What is FSMA 204?

The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act Section 204d (FSMA 204) changes the recordkeeping requirements for food supply chain companies. The law requires specific Key Data Elements (KDEs) to be captured, created and exchanged at specific Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) throughout the supply chain.

Lot code-level traceability information is required to comply with the FSMA 204 food traceability law. Other retailers and wholesalers may require traceability for additional foods and require additional data than is outlined by your customer and/or by the FDA.

Why ReposiTrak?

ReposiTrak is the world’s largest food traceability and regulatory compliance network. Companies throughout the supply chain use the ReposiTrak Traceability Network to exchange food traceability information to meet and exceed the FDA’s FSMA 204 food traceability law. Thousands of suppliers and retail locations and dozens of distribution centers are connected.

Suppliers in the ReposiTrak Traceability Network can exchange traceability data with an unlimited number of other in-network customers, for an unlimited number of shipments, for one low, flat fee. The ReposiTrak Traceability Network can also be used by food producers and manufacturers to collect traceability information from downstream suppliers.

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact the ReposiTrak Enrollment Team at 888-842-5465 or enrollment@repositrak.com.

What is the ReposiTrak Traceability Network?

The ReposiTrak Traceability Network is the world’s largest and the ONLY operating food traceability network. More than 12,000 retail stores, 8,000 suppliers and dozens of distribution centers use the ReposiTrak Traceability Network to exchange food traceability data in order to meet and exceed the FDA’s FSMA 204 food traceability law.

As part of the ReposiTrak Traceability Network, you will be able to exchange traceability data with your customer and other retailers and wholesalers both inside of, and outside of, the ReposiTrak Traceability Network. As with all of our solutions, ReposiTrak’s dedicated Customer Support Team is available to help.

How long will it take to connect to the ReposiTrak Traceability Network?

Connecting to the ReposiTrak Traceability Network is easy. To get started, click the link in the invitation that was sent from your customer. If you already have a ReposiTrak account, there will also be a prompt for you within the ReposiTrak application after you’ve logged in. You’ll be walked through a set of guided steps to first gather basic information about your company (15-20 minutes) and then to gather the technical information needed to share the right data with your customer (2-2.5 hours).

What will I need to complete the process?

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the fast, easy process to connect to the ReposiTrak Traceability Network:

  • Basic information about your company, including contact information for people in certain roles (such as sales, IT, food safety and legal) and the addresses of your main office and other facilities.
  • Someone to sign an agreement on behalf of your company. If you will not be the person signing the agreement, begin thinking of who will and let them know that you will be forwarding the agreement to them soon.
  • A form of payment* such as ACH, credit card or wire transfer that can be used to process the low, flat, per facility fee of $2,148 paid annually in advance. Remember, that fee enables you to exchange traceability information with an unlimited number of in-network customers for an unlimited number of shipments. Your membership becomes more valuable as more of your retail, wholesale and/or restaurant companies use the ReposiTrak Traceability Network, too. We encourage you to introduce ReposiTrak to your customers. (*Some retailers and wholesalers will bill you directly for traceability services.)
  • For the technical steps, you’ll need to engage someone from your Information Technology (IT) team or another technical resource who understands the systems where Key Data Elements (KDEs) can be found. These systems often include: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain and logistics, IT and even accounting systems.
What if I miss the deadline?

Your customer will be reviewing the list of noncompliant vendors with ReposiTrak on a weekly basis. Please complete the online sign-up process on time to avoid noncompliance with your customer’s requirement.

What if I need to stop and come back?

If at any time you need to exit the process, just click “Save & Come Back Later.” Your progress will be saved and you can click the link to start where you left off.

How often do files need to be sent to ReposiTrak?

The best practice is once per day.

How soon do I begin to send files?

As soon as possible within the 30-day sign up period.

Should I send all items, or just items on the Food Traceability List (FTL)?

Best practice is to send all items. (Less work, too.)

Do I have access to the information I send?

Yes.

We keep track of lot codes today, why do I need to use ReposiTrak?

FSMA 204 requires that you pass KDEs along with the movement of the product to your customer.

I am a small supplier and my items do not qualify for the FTL, do I still need to send the shipment files?

Yes, if your customer requires it.

What does ReposiTrak do with the information I send?

The data received is stored in a class 5 secure environment, encrypted, translated and displayed in your account for viewing.

When does FSMA 204 go into effect?

The law is NOW in effect. It was signed into law in January 2023.

Why do I need to start now, if enforcement of the law isn’t until January 2026?

Accomplishing traceability takes some setup on your part and ours. With tens of thousands of shipments sent daily in the supply chain, it is not wise to wait until the last minute to begin your setup. Additionally, initial feedback indicates that FDA auditors have already started asking suppliers about their traceability plans.

Will traditional labeling and barcode scanning work?

The days of one-up, one-back tracking are behind us. The FSMA 204 regulation now requires the creation, collection and storage of more information than ever before and the long list of Key Data Elements (KDEs) that are required cannot be printed, exchanged or modified with traditional labeling and scanning methods.

Your retailer and wholesaler customers are required to take in more data now as well. This information must be available to them in a format that can be retreived and organized into a sortable spreadsheet per the FDA requirement within 24 hours’ notice.

Where do Key Data Elements (KDEs) come from?

KDEs can be found in documents and electronic systems used for ordering, shipping and receiving. To begin exchanging traceability information through the ReposiTrak Traceability Network, you’ll need to have access to these documents and systems.

KDEs can appear on one or more of the following documents or systems. For example, an ASN might contain the name and address of the supplier, but the lot code might only appear on an invoice or packing slip. ReposiTrak collects and synchronizes KDEs from multiple documents or systems into the readable format that the FDA needs.

Common documents and systems that contain KDEs:

  • Advance Shipping Notice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Packing List
  • Shipping Labels
  • Invoice
  • Purchase Order
  • Proprietary export from any of your systems
Does ReposiTrak send my shipment files to my customer?

No, the traceability data that you send to ReposiTrak is stored within the ReposiTrak Traceability Network for traceability purposes. This data is not forwarded to your customer as a shipment file. If you are interested in using ReposiTrak for creating your shipment files, please contact support@repositrak.com to talk with our dedicated Customer Success Team.

If I send my traceability files in an Excel spreadsheet, can the spreadsheet contain more than one (1) tab or sheet?

No, the traceability file you send (.xlsx) must have only one (1) tab or sheet.

Do I need to list ALL of my facilities?

You only need to list your facilities that ship product to (or have product picked up from) the customer(s) that require you to use the ReposiTrak Traceability Network. For example, if the product is manufactured at one facility and then shipped to the customer from another facility, then you are only required to list the second facility.

You are only required to provide information here about your company’s facilities doing business with the customer who has required you to connect to the ReposiTrak Traceability Network.

You may have other facilities that do not ship product to (or have product picked up from) that customer. There is no need to enter the information for facilities not associated with this customer at this time.
The FDA defines a “facility” as any location (either owned by the supplier or operated by a third-party doing business on behalf of the supplier) that makes, packs or holds product for the supplier. Examples include a manufacturing plant, distribution center or warehouse, commissary or third-party cold storage warehouse.

Do I need to send separate files for each item being traced?

You can send KDEs for multiple items in the same file. You do not need to provide a separate file for each item.

We sometimes have special displays or shippers that contain new or different products than our usual assortment. How do we provide traceability information for those items?

Each individual item that’s part of a special display or shipper (and is required by your customer to be tracked) should be included in the traceability file that you send to ReposiTrak. Each item in the display should be treated as its own individual item, meaning that each item should be broken out in the file with its appropriate quantities and Traceability Lot Code (TLC) information.

Traceability Lot Codes (TLCs) are not printed on our cases or labels. Is that a problem?

The Traceability Lot Code (TLC) for the food must appear on the case and/or label in the image you provide in order to meet the traceability requirements of your customer. This must be the same TLC that appears in the data file that you send to ReposiTrak. While the FDA does not specifically require the TLC to be printed on the case or label, the FDA does require lot-level traceability. ReposiTrak uses the TLC to assemble the complete KDE record required by your customer.

Why does my customer require traceability for foods that do not appear on the FDA’s Food Traceability List or products that fall under USDA like packaged meats?

Traceability requirements vary by retailer and wholesaler. Some major retailers and wholesalers have already made the decision to trace more foods than the FDA requires.

Are there exemptions to FSMA 204 or my customer’s food traceability requirements?

If your customer requires you to do traceability, then you must comply. If a retailer or wholesaler chooses to do business with a supplier who refuses to do traceability, then the retailer or wholesaler assumes the legal risk. That risk is so high that many retailers and wholesalers have made the decision to trace all foods, or more foods than the FDA requires, and therefore no exemptions truly exist.

After my shipment is sent to my customer, how long do I have to send my traceability file to ReposiTrak?

It is recommended that you send your traceability file to ReposiTrak within 24 hours of your shipment. If your customer has specific guidelines in place, please follow their guidelines.

What types of file formats do you accept?

ReposiTrak can accept Excel (XLSX), Comma Separated Values (CSV), EDI and certain other formats of data files. We cannot accept Word Documents or PDFs.

We have questions about Traceability Lot Codes (TLCs) today. What do we do?

A Traceability Lot Code is a descriptor, often alphanumeric, used to uniquely identify a traceability lot within the records of the traceability lot code source. This is similar to what industry currently refers to as a “lot” or “lot code.”

  • If the issue is that you do not have Traceability Lot Codes (TLCs), please visit the FDA’s website for more information at: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/traceability-lot-code.
  • If you have a company that produces your labels for you, but they’re not printing the TLCs on your labels, try reaching out to them first to see if there’s a way to begin printing lot codes onto your labels.
  • If a third-party warehouse manages your shipments, you’ll have to work with them to alter your process to collect those TLCs from them each time a shipment is sent, so that your TLCs can then be sent to ReposiTrak as part of your traceability files.
Shipping KDEs Character Limit Example 1 Example 2
Your Company Headquarters ID
This is the alphanumeric code that you use internally to identify your company (DUNS, DUNS+4, an internal number or another identifier).
(30) 12345 1234567891234
Your location from which the food was shipped (the “Facility ID” for the shipper)
This is the alphanumeric code that you use internally to identify the plant, warehouse, cold storage, production facility (or other facility type) where product was shipped from (DUNS, DUNS+4, GLN, an internal number or another identifier). This code or ID must match the Facility ID for the shipping location that you provide during the Information Gathering steps when connecting to the ReposiTrak Traceability Network.
(30) 01 987654321
Customer “Bill To” ID
This is the customer’s name or number as it appears in your system(s). It identifies your retail or wholesale customer at a corporate level (DUNS, DUNS+4, GLN, an internal number or another identifier).
(30) 12345 0001234561234
Customer “Ship To” ID (the “Facility ID” for the receiver)
This is the location description for where the food was received. It identifies the physical location where your product is received by your retail or wholesale customer. This is usually a warehouse or distribution center (DUNS, DUNS+4, GLN, an internal number or another identifier).
(30) DC01 555556666
Your Item Number or Order Number
This is the item code that exists within your system(s) and identifies the item. Sometimes this is referred to as an “Order Number.”
(30) 32653 11234512345
Your Item Name/Description
The name of your product and a text description.
(45) Tomato Tomato
Item UPC or PLU
This is the 12-digit UPC or 14-digit GTIN assigned to the item. For produce items that do not have a UPC, the 4 or 5-digit PLU code may be provided.
Click here to view an example UPC Barcode
(30) 15555555555 4800
The quantity for the food
This is the number of items shipped.
(12) 200 200
The unit of measure for the food
This shows how the food is measured. Examples include: BG-Bag, CA-Case, LB-Pound, EA-Each, CT-Count, etc.
(10) CA CA
Date Shipped
The date you shipped the food. Use the format YYYYMMDD.
(14) 20241201 20241201
Traceability Lot Code (TLC)
The descriptor, often alphanumeric, used to uniquely identify a Traceability Lot within the records of the supplier who assigned the TLC.
Click here to view more information from the FDA
(60) 155228876 LC20231201
Traceability Lot Code (TLC) Reference Document Type
This describes the type of document that contains the TLC. Examples include: Bill of Lading (BOL), Production Record, Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN), etc.
Click here to view more information from the FDA
(14) BOL ASN
Traceability Lot Code (TLC) Reference Document Number
Click here to view more information from the FDA
(60) 123456XYZ 000012345
Traceability Lot Code (TLC) Source
This is the location description for who generated the TLC. If the TLC (lot code) was created by you, then the TLC Source information should be your company information. However, if the product already had a TLC assigned when it came into your facility, then the TLC Source would have to be the company who originally assigned the TLC. Examples of TLC Source include: the 11-digit FDA Food Facility Registration Number, a website address that provides the FDA with the location description of the TLC source, or the supplier’s name and mailing address. NOTE: do NOT use commas in this field.
Click here to view more information from the FDA
(400) FFR 110200841526 ABC Supplier
123 Any St Anytown ZZ 12345



ReposiTrak can accept data files using several options/protocols.

Information about each option is provided below.

Notes:

Please add our support@repositrak.com email address to your safe sender list.

If you have questions/changes regarding a connection after it is set up and tested, please email Support.

Protocol Options (choose only one):
FTP Using ReposiTrak Server (Most Common)

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard communication protocol used for the transfer of computer files from one server to another. This option is used if you want to connect to ReposiTrak’s FTP server to delivery traceability files.

Please use this link to email our Support team to have an FTP account set up on our server: FTP (PCG/RT server) setup request. Support will add the account and reply with the connection information so that you can test the connection.

FTP Using Your Server (Most Common)

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard communication protocol used for the transfer of computer files from one server to another. This option is used if you want ReposiTrak to connect to your company’s FTP server to retrieve their traceability files. You will need to provide the server name/IP address for ReposiTrak to connect to, as well as the login/user ID and password that ReposiTrak will use to log onto your company’s server.

Please use this link to email the FTP info to our Support team: FTP (your server) setup request. After Support receives your information, they will test the connection and reply to let you know that the setup is complete.

Automated Files Sent Via Email (Most Common)

This option uses Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), which allows different email accounts and clients to exchange messages over the internet. This option is used if you want to send automatically-generated traceability files via email to ReposiTrak.

You will need to provide the email domain(s) that will be sending the traceability files to ReposiTrak.

This option can only be used for sending automatically generated files to PCG/ReposiTrak. Please use this link to email our Support team: Email (SMTP) setup request. Support will add the connection and reply with the email address that you should send the files to so that you can test the connection.

SFTP Using ReposiTrak Server

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a file transfer protocol that uses SSH encryption to transfer files from one server to another. This option is used if you want to connect to ReposiTrak’s SFTP server to deliver traceability files. ReposiTrak will provide the server address name that you will connect to, as well as the login/user ID and password (or key, if preferred).

In order to use this option, you will need to provide the IP address(es) for your company’s server(s) that files will be sent from, so that the IP(s) can be added to the ReposiTrak firewall whitelist.

Please use this link to email our Support team to have an SFTP account set up on our server: SFTP (PCG/RT server) setup request. Support will add the account and reply with the connection information so that you can test the connection.

SFTP Using Your Server

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a file transfer protocol that uses SSH encryption to transfer files from one server to another. Suppliers use this option if they want ReposiTrak to connect to your company’s SFTP server to retrieve traceability files. You will need to provide the server name/IP address that ReposiTrak connects to, as well as the login/user ID and password (or key, if preferred) that ReposiTrak will use to log onto your company’s server.

Please add our IP’s (205.132.35.22 & 205.132.37.22) to your firewall, if necessary, and then use this link to email the SFTP info to our Support team: SFTP (your server) setup request. After Support receives your information, they will test the connection and reply to let you know that the setup is complete.

AS2

AS2 is a protocol for secure exchange of business files over the internet. It uses digital certificates, encryption and message receipts to ensure the authenticity, integrity and non-repudiation of the files. AS2 is typically used by larger companies that prefer to send EDI X12 files. You will need to download ReposiTrak’s AS2 profile and certificate using the links below, and add the ReposiTrak IPs to your firewall (if necessary). You will need to provide their AS2 profile and certificate to ReposiTrak.

Please download our AS2 profile and Certificate using the buttons below. Once you have us setup in your system (including adding our IP’s to your firewall, if necessary), please email YOUR profile and certificate to our Support team using this link: AS2 setup request. After Support receives your information, they will reply regarding testing.

Upload Shipment File Online Through ReposiTrak (Less Common)

Log into your ReposiTrak account and select the Traceability solution. Then select Traceability. In the menu, select “Upload my documents containing shipping KDEs.” Click Choose File to select the file you will upload from your network. Once selected, the name of the file will appear in the File to Submit field. Click File Upload and upload your selected file.

Online Data Entry (Less Common)

Online data entry will require the manual keying of information each time a shipment is sent to your customer.

The last step in connecting to the ReposiTrak Traceability Network is to configure your traceability file and choose a way to share it with ReposiTrak every time a shipment is sent to your customer.

NOW, here’s the final step to meet the requirements of your customer:
  1. Choose a Data Sharing Protocol to share your Key Data Elements (KDEs) with ReposiTrak. Your options range from a simple email format, to a more sophisticated B2B connection using EDI, and many options in between.

    The ideal way to share your KDEs with us is through an automated extract from your system(s) that send a file to ReposiTrak every time you ship product to your customer. This automated file can be in one of several different formats (EDI, XLSX, CSV) and would be sent however you typically send files (FTP, AS2, etc.). (NOTE: EDI is NOT the only way, it is just one of the options. If the supplier wants to send ReposiTrak a copy of the 856 being sent to their customer today, the EDI IDs can stay the same or they may be changed. Either works for us.)

    The second way is to key in the shipment online. This is less ideal and because it requires manual data entry. Manual data entry comes with some risk of keying error and it also takes more time.


  2. Create your traceability file. You can use one of our templates as a guide:
    • Here is a link to download an XLSX template for your shipping files (contained within the template are two rows of example data that you will need to remove): XLSX Template for a Supplier Shipping File
    • Here is a link to download an EDI 856 to transmit your shipping files: Sample EDI 856 for Shipping File
    • If you choose to use a VAN (Value Added Network) the VAN needs to agree to connect to ReposiTrak using a direct AS2, FTP or SFTP connection and you need to confirm that ReposiTrak will incur no additional costs from the VAN.
Important:
  • The field names in your traceability file do not need to be an exact match to the KDE names listed here, or the KDE names that are included in the sample files. If you use different names or titles for your KDEs, please email or call us with a list of which fields line up with which KDEs.
  • If your KDEs reside in multiple systems, you can send us multiple traceability files. We have the ability to stitch together KDEs from multiple traceability files to create the complete KDE Records required by your customer. If you’re sending us multiple files, please call us at 1 (888) 842-5465 or email us at enrollment@ReposiTrak.com to schedule a call so that we can collect some additional information
YOUR CUSTOMER REQUIRES YOU TO COMPLETE YOUR CONNECTION WITH THE REPOSITRAK TRACEABILITY NETWORK WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THEIR INITIAL INVITATION.