US supermarket group taps ReposiTrak for traceability

The National Grocers Association (NGA) has selected ReposiTrak as its exclusive traceability partner to help members meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Section 204 of the FSMA – when published – will introduce 'farm-to-table' traceability for 16 categories of foods on a specific list in an attempt to prevent illnesses due to foodborne diseases.

The proposed FSMA regulations require capturing batch/lot and similar shipment level data for a thousands of fresh produce, seafood and dairy products as they move through the supply chain.

Retailers, wholesalers and their trading partners will need to maintain records of every movement of several fresh product categories from the point of origin to the point of sale to the consumer.

That means there will be changes to the way every food store and distribution centre in the country records the delivery of shipments, according to the NGA. Now, ReposiTrak has been selected to help them introduce those changes.

Last year, the company set up the Food Traceability Leadership Consortium (FTLC), bringing together food retailers, wholesalers and suppliers, with the aim of developing an open, low-cost approach to food tracing technology.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that around 48m people in the US – one-sixth of the population – get sick each year from foodborne illnesses, while 128,000 are hospitalised, and 3,000 die.

This is a significant public health burden that is largely preventable, according to the FDA.

"Food safety is of paramount importance to independent grocers and their supplier partners," said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and chief executive.

"NGA's partnership with ReposiTrak is the latest in a series of ongoing initiatives to enhance value for our members by sharing best practices in an area that's crucial to safeguarding the hard-earned trust that retailers and manufacturers have with consumers."

As part of this partnership, ReposiTrak will be the exclusive traceability and supplier compliance provider in NGA's partner programme, said the partners in a statement.

NGA will host online thought leadership content and share it across various platforms, including website, newsletters and email blasts, as well as a webinar series. Additionally, ReposiTrak will participate in NGA events and offer a special rate for its services to NGA member companies.

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