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Traceability matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat. Meet traceability requirements with farmsoft fresh produce & food business management app.

Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat:

Produce traceability makes it possible to track produce from its point of origin to a retail location where it is purchased by consumers.

Produce traceability is an important link in protecting public health since it allows health agencies to more quickly and accurately identify the source of contaminated fruit or vegetables believed to be the cause of an outbreak of foodborne illness, remove them from the marketplace, and communicate to the supply chain.

Since many fruits and vegetables are eaten raw, the produce industry‚ from farmer to retailer, works diligently to protect these foods from contamination. Despite their best efforts, foreign matter can occasionally contaminate produce in the field or orchard, in packing or processing, in transit or storage.

Because traceability systems can provide information on the source, location, movement and storage conditions of produce, they also allow growers, packers, processors and distributors to identify factors affecting quality and delivery.

Beginning in 2008, an industry-led effort to enhance traceability throughout the entire produce supply chain was launched as the Produce Traceability Initiative.

Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

The produce industry continues to evolve to meet consumers’ needs. Consumers today are much more knowledgeable and demanding about the foods they purchase. The increased focus on food safety and consumer awareness raises the need to identify and adopt business practices and standards that will aid the produce sector’s ability to track and trace product throughout the supply chain. It is important to note that different regions may have different requirements. Users are reminded to be aware of the requirements in target markets (both business and regulatory).

  • 1.1 Purpose

Consumers expect safe and nutritious foods. They also expect all participants in the supply chain to have effective practices in place that allow for the rapid identification, location, and withdrawal of food lots when problems are suspected or confirmed. Ensuring that effective practices are in place across a complex and global supply chain is an on-going challenge. For this reason, the GS1 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Traceability Guideline has been developed to aid in the adoption of consistent business practices to effectively manage traceability for the produce industry.

Traceability is a business process that enables trading partners to follow products as they move from field through to retail stores, online or in-store, to foodservice operators and also to the end consumer. Each Traceability Partner must be able to identify the direct source (supplier) and direct recipient (customer) of product.

The first priority of traceability is to protect the consumer through faster and more precise identification of implicated product. This is critical if the product must be withdrawn or recalled from the supply chain.

This document serves as a best practice guide to implementing traceability in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (Produce) Industry. The best practices recommended are based on GS1 global standards for supply chain management, data sharing and product identification. These standards were developed by industry to optimise business practices across supply chains world-wide.

  • 1.2 Scope

This implementation guideline is built on the basis of GS1 Global Traceability Standard 2, which defines the minimum traceability requirements across all sectors. The guideline focuses on the additional traceability requirements that are specific for fresh fruit and vegetable traceability. The scope of this guideline establishes minimum requirements and best practices to share information between distribution channel participants.

This guideline:

■ Addresses traceability practices from pre-grower to retail store or foodservice operator (i.e. external traceability) to the point of consumer sale to support Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) such as product creation/(re)packaging, shipping, receiving, processing, and selling;

■ Considers traceability practices upstream from the grower, including guidance for seed or crop protection or treatments;

■ Applies to all fresh fruit and vegetable products for human consumption;

■ Applies to all levels which are uniquely identified including the base product or traded item (e.g. case/carton, consumer item), Logistic Unit (e.g. bin, container);

■ Includes all supply chain participants: growers/primary producers, packers/repackers, suppliers/distributors/traders/exporters or importers, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice operators.

Traceability has become a strategic priority for organisations around the world. In addition to enabling increased supply chain quality, efficiency and transparency, the sharing and use of traceability data enables the development of solutions that enhance supply chain security and safety.

  • 1.3 Audience

This is a practical guide that is intended for those responsible for implementing traceability in their company’s operations and supply chain. The document provides a guide for fresh produce growers/primary producers, packers/repackers, suppliers/distributors/traders/exporters or importers/wholesalers, retailers and foodservice operators (all organisations which impact the fresh produce supply chain). Individual organisations may perform any combination of these roles.

How do I Use the Document?

Step 1: If traceability or GS1 standards are new to your company, read the sections 1 & 2.

Step 2: Read Section 4 to determine your company’s role(s) in the supply chain.

Step 3: Read Section 5 to understand key traceability definitions and principles.

Step 4: Review guidelines specific for your role(s) as outlined in 6 through 8.

Step 5: Begin implementation using the reference documents/appendices as assistance. Users should ensure they understand specific government and/or industry requirements, or trading practices within the target markets they serve (e.g. document retention, origin/provenance, identification, e-commerce requirements).

  • 1.4 About GS1

GS1 believes in the power of standards to transform the way we work and live.

■ We create a common foundation for business by uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing vital information about products, locations and assets.

■ We enable visibility through the exchange of authentic data.

■ We empower business to grow and to improve efficiency, safety, security and sustainability.

GS1 standards are the common language of business and provide the framework required to support the traceability (business) process. This industry best practice implementation guideline is based on the GS1 Global Traceability Standard (GTS) Version 2. Developed by industry, the standard defines the globally accepted method for uniquely identifying:

■ Trading parties (your suppliers, your own company, your customers, 3rd party carriers or services)

■ Trading locations (can be any physical location such as a farm, warehouse, packing line, storage facility, receiving dock or store)

■ The products your company uses or creates

■ The logistics units your company receives or ships

■ Inbound and outbound shipments

The GS1 Global Traceability Standard Version 2 also defines the essential pieces of information that have to be collected, recorded and shared to ensure one step up, one step down traceability. The standard is applicable to companies of all sizes and geographical locations.

While the GS1 Global Traceability Standard Version 2 may be implemented independently from any specific technology, best business practices require adoption of bar coding on every level of packaging. Businesses are further encouraged to adopt electronic messaging to exchange essential business information and use EPCIS for visibility data. These technologies will be explored in the sections that follow.

GS1 standards are the global common language for traceability solutions. GS1 standards are used globally by more than one million companies.

GS1 provides the global framework and local implementation services in 115 countries to ensure that traceability systems are interoperable and scalable, where trading partners can easily collaborate and share information across the entire chain.

GS1 is a not-for-profit standards organisation with member affiliates in 115 countries around the world. Together with local/national produce trade associations they are important resources that are able to help your company understand the most effective way to implement traceability with your trading partners. They can also help your company to connect with technology providers that serve the produce industry.

A copy of the Global Traceability Standard Version 2 appears in Appendix D.

Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

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Makes fresh inventory food safety compliance & audits easy.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat
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Generate accurate labels, automatic paperwork, quickly, and accurately. Reporting and KPI for fresh inventory.

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Traceability requirements matrix compliance in fresh produce - introduction video...

A fresh produce traceability management solution that can be as simple, or comprehensive as you require...

Traceability requirements matrix compliance in fresh produce - detailed demonstration...

Perishable inventory management software for fresh produce and more...  

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Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

Simple traceability, yet feature packed

INVENTORY & COLD STORE

Barcode labels and inventory & pallet management, stock take (mobile & PC),  cold store, 3D storage, container management...

SALES

Manage & monitor orders, contracts, dispatch process. Managed dispatch ensures correct goods with correct invoices & documentation...

PROCESSING

Re-pack, sort, grade, wash, manufacture, and pack with maximum traceability.   Recursive traceability...

ALERTS

Receive waste alerts instantly by email if unusual was is identified - including packing/processing results for the entire batch, packing costs, cost per unit and more.

TRACE

Instant recalls using any of these recall methods:  invoice number, inventory number, order number, pallet number, delivery date, customer name, storage location, pack date and more...

INTEGRATE

Optionally integrate farmsoft with accounting solutions or optionally implement farmsoft Farm Management solutions for a complete supply chain solution.

Historically the food industry has addressed the management of food hygiene, safety, and quality through the introduction of HACCP and ISO9001, etc. However, when issues such as false labeling and occurrences of BSE became public, the food industry lost consumer trust in commercial food products.


More and more consumers were demanding a food supply at which every stage of production, processing, and distribution of a food item could be documented, and tracked. These demands included stricter solution of food safety compliance throughout the food industry. As a result, constructing a system for a reliable food traceability matrix system became urgent task. A food traceability system enables to follow the movement of any food product by documentation of each point of food handling. When an incident occurs, the food traceability system could efficiently assist in the recall of the food product(s) in question and assist in the investigation of the cause. Also transmitting and verifying

the relevant information would contribute to increasing reliability on the information of the label and so on, and thus enables consumers to purchase food with a sense of security.


Moreover, it is important to fully be aware that the traceability requirements matrix system is simply a means for attaining that objective. And it is important not to fall into the excessive pursuit, such as making establishment of traceability system itself as an objective. Thus, with this as a background, in order to promote the construction of a food traceability system and to set guidelines which would be a guide in introducing traceability system, the “Committee on the Handbook for Introduction of Food Traceability Systems” was established. A working group from within the Committee was formed to further study the available information on food traceability.


For other food items, the introduction of the traceability system is not currently required but rather the responsibility of each food business operator. In this atmosphere of voluntary compliance, ensuring traceability within individual food businesses has steadily advanced. For example, keeping records of primary production stage during cultivation, breeding, and identification and linking of raw materials and products at the processing stage have become more common.

Farmsoft offers full traceability from source to shelf with interconnected systems providing a complete overview of raw material journey through processing, packing, storage, and distribution. The Farmsoft traceability engine is built into every step of the fresh produce & perishable goods handling process and records every step based on individual inventory items, batches, and orders - for all production processes from reception to dispatch and post sales traceabiltiy and reporting.



Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat: "Complete traceability and optimal implementation of customer requirements guaranteed"

The organic pioneers Bio Obst Münch GmbH & Co. and Obsthof zum Felde, which have been w

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce

ell-known on the market for a long time, have jointly created a new organic fruit packing and logistics centre in Hamburg-Neuenfelde. Both marketers are among the largest organic fruit traders in the Alte Land and have now moved their headquarters to Hamburg.

From now on the newly founded Bio Obst Hamburg LLC & Co. will be the efficient service provider for the two marketing companies to provide high-quality organic fruit in all varieties for the trade. So far,
the two companies packaged and picked the fruit at their respective premises. From now on, the entire packing service will be bundled centrally at Bio Obst Hamburg in Neuenfelde. The total capacity is 20,000 tons per year.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

"Consumers want more organic products. More and more fruit growers are converting their farms to organic cultivation. More than 15% of the apple cultivation area in the Old Country is already produced according to organic guidelines. The market is growing continuously. The high quality organic fruit must reach the end consumer in the best condition. The new centre offers optimal conditions for this", explains Marie Münch, Managing Director of Bio Obst Münch.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

Gentle fruit processing, various forms of packaging
A former fruit logistics location has been extensively modernised and converted in just one year with brisk construction activity. The largest, most modern, pure organic fruit packing house north of the Alps has been created. Six ultra-modern packing lines (consisting of two Blitzmatic, foodtainer, bag machines, a dynamic packing line, a line for loose goods) allow fruit to be gently packed into various types of packaging. "A fast and efficient delivery to customers in all desired packaging is guaranteed. Great importance is attached to the development of environmentally friendly packaging solutions. A combination of state-of-the-art technology and software ensures complete traceability and optimal implementation of customer requirements," says Münch.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

With the help of the Economic Authority of the City of Hamburg, the project could be realized quickly. "The fruit growers who have switched over to organic cultivation as part of the funded Excellence Programme of the Hamburg Senate now also know that their fruit is in good hands. Hamburg, the Alte Land and the participating companies are now in a very good position to meet future requirements."

For more information:

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

Bio Obst Münch GmbH & Co. KG
Domänenweg 10
21129 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-226 317 630
Fax: 040-226 317 649
info@bioobstmuench.de
www.bioobstmuench.de
www.obsthof-zum-felde.de/  


Produce Traceability Initiative announces improvements to traceability guidance

The Produce Traceability Initiative, consisting of CPMA, GS1 US, PMA, and United Fresh, and its many volunteer industry members, announced the release of four new or improved tools to support traceability implementation:

  • Canada/U.S. Harmonized Case Label
  • Template for Sharing Traceback Data with regulators
  • Revised Best Practices for Formatting Case Labels
  • Updated ASN (Advance Ship Notice)

“As the Canadian industry strives for compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and the U.S. industry prepares for the September release of draft Food Safety and Modernization Act traceability-related regulations, traceability is increasingly a focus across the supply chain and with consumers,” said PTI Chair, Doug Grant of The Oppenheimer Group. “These new and updated resources support a renewed commitment to traceability efforts and bring clarity and harmonization to the tools that support traceability.”

The Harmonized Case Label reflects an industry-wide collaboration amongst stakeholders to align on a label that would be accepted by buyers in the grocery and foodservice communities in both Canada and the U.S. Buyers from both countries worked through the winter to design and align on one label that meets both buyer and regulatory requirements and remains founded on global GS1 standards. To bring confidence to the supplier community, part of the effort included confirmation of buyer commitment to the label via individual letters of support which are available on the PTI website. Buyers who have not yet confirmed their support are encouraged to contact one of the four associations noted in this release.

To ensure clarity on the use of the label, the PTI Best Practices for Formatting Case Labels was updated and includes information to enable integration into operations regardless of the commodity being packed.

In addition, the new Produce Traceback Template initiated as part of the Romaine Task Force and finalized by PTI working groups is designed to transmit traceability data to regulators when a company is involved in a trace-back investigation. The template was developed with guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for produce companies to better manage responses to inquiries about potentially harmful products in the supply chain, regardless of whether or not they are PTI compliant. The tool is designed to be used by companies of varying sizes who are at any point in their traceability journey.  The Template was also integrated into the PTI Guidance for Sharing Traceback Data. Initial testing by a small group of buyers yielded favorable responses, and over the summer PTI will execute a larger pilot to determine how the Produce Traceback Template can enable the broader food industry to align on traceability best practices and prepare for interoperability and regulatory requirements of the future.

Finally, as industry transitions to use of the ASN, the ASN 856 document was updated to reflect the updated EDI standard version 007050 UCS. This technical change supports the use of this electronic means for sharing both commercial and traceability information amongst trading partners.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability matrix fresh produce fruit and vegetable seafood meat

For more information:
Allan Gordon
CPMA
Tel: +1 (613) 226-4187
Email: agordon@cpma.ca
www.cpma.ca

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce

Kaitlin Friedmann
GS1 US
Tel: +1 (609) 620-8074
Email: kfriedmann@gs1us.org
www.gs1us.org

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce

Siobhan May
PMA
Tel: +1 (302) 781-5855
Email: smay@pma.com
www.pma.com

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce

Mary Coppola
United Fresh
Tel: +1 (202) 303-3425
Email: mcoppola@unitedfresh.org
www.unitedfresh.org


Organizations collaborate to bring traceability to Peruvian shippers

Peruvian exporters will have a unique chance to learn about produce industry traceability requirements and other food safety issues in a special seminar held in Lima, Peru, on January 22, 2013. The seminar is being organized by a coalition of produce and export organizations with the objective of ensuring all Peruvian exporters are informed about the upcoming PTI implementation dates and pending new food safety requirements.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce



Key U.S. experts in traceability and food safety will be presenting the seminar. Ed Treacy, Vice President of Supply Chain Efficiencies at Produce Marketing Association speak on the components of PTI and explain implementation dates to help exporters continue operating as reliable suppliers in the marketplace. Dan Vaché, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for United Fresh will cover the benefits of PTI from the grower to the consumer. Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at United Fresh will present requirements of supermarkets and buyers with respect to Food Safety, GAP, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and questions with the speakers as well as notable Peruvian officials including Jorge Barrenechea Cabrera, General Director of Plant Health at SENASA. Attendees will also be able to network with representatives from traceability companies like Harvest Mark and N2N Global who are platinum sponsors of the event.

The event is organized by AGAP and PromPeru, and supported by APEM, IPEH, ProCitrus, PeruProHass, ProVid, the Peruvian Consulate, and the Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association. It will be held at the Westin Hotels & Resorts in San Isidro, Lima, Peru.

The registration fee for the seminar is $125 before December 14 and $140 after December 14.

For more information:
TradeTraining
Tel: +51 1 715 2618
info@tradetrainingperu.com
www.tradetrainingperu.com

Organizations collaborate to bring traceability to Peruvian shippers

Peruvian exporters will have a unique chance to learn about produce industry traceability requirements and other food safety issues in a special seminar held in Lima, Peru, on January 22, 2013. The seminar is being organized by a coalition of produce and export organizations with the objective of ensuring all Peruvian exporters are informed about the upcoming PTI implementation dates and pending new food safety requirements.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce



Key U.S. experts in traceability and food safety will be presenting the seminar. Ed Treacy, Vice President of Supply Chain Efficiencies at Produce Marketing Association speak on the components of PTI and explain implementation dates to help exporters continue operating as reliable suppliers in the marketplace. Dan Vaché, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for United Fresh will cover the benefits of PTI from the grower to the consumer. Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at United Fresh will present requirements of supermarkets and buyers with respect to Food Safety, GAP, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and questions with the speakers as well as notable Peruvian officials including Jorge Barrenechea Cabrera, General Director of Plant Health at SENASA. Attendees will also be able to network with representatives from traceability companies like Harvest Mark and N2N Global who are platinum sponsors of the event.

The event is organized by AGAP and PromPeru, and supported by APEM, IPEH, ProCitrus, PeruProHass, ProVid, the Peruvian Consulate, and the Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association. It will be held at the Westin Hotels & Resorts in San Isidro, Lima, Peru.

The registration fee for the seminar is $125 before December 14 and $140 after December 14.

For more information:
TradeTraining
Tel: +51 1 715 2618
info@tradetrainingperu.com
www.tradetrainingperu.com

Canada: New federal food safety requirements in force for fresh fruits & vegetables

New requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) come into force for most businesses in the fresh fruits or vegetables (FFV) sector that import, export or engage in interprovincial trade. The SFCR make Canada’s food system even safer by focussing on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace.

Under the new provisions for FFV, most businesses are required to maintain:

  • Preventive controls that address food safety hazards such as microbiological contamination to food and that help to prevent contaminated and non-compliant food from entering the marketplace;
  • Written preventive control plans that document the risks to food and how these risks are being controlled;
  • Traceability documentation that track the movement of food one step forward and one step back in the supply chain.

New requirements for lot code labelling of consumer-prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables that are not packaged at the retail level are also now in force. However, businesses will have until January 15, 2021 to use up existing packaging.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency website provides SFCR resources tailored specifically for FFV businesses, including a fact sheet, information on traceability-specific labelling requirements and a recorded presentation about the regulations coming into effect today.

Importer licensing
FFV importers who currently require a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence and do not have one may experience delays or rejection of their shipment at the border, and may be subject to other enforcement actions.

Source: miragenews.com

Requirement to include lot code on prepacked fruits into force on January 15

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has provided detailed timelines concerning the application of preventive control plans, preventive controls, and traceability requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables. The SFCR came into force on January 15, 2019, with different food commodities. SFCR provisions were phased in through a two-year implementation period. General guidance on importing fresh fruits and vegetables is publicly available on the CFIA website.

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce

On January 15, 2020, preventive control plans, preventive controls, and remaining traceability requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) will come into force for the majority of fresh fruits and vegetables sold in Canada. Most prepacked fresh fruit or vegetables are required to include a lot code or a unique identifier (lot code if it is a consumer prepackaged food not packaged at retail), the common name of the food, and the name and principal place of business of the company by or for whom the food was manufactured on the label, which must be applied, attached, or accompanying the food when it is provided to another person. While the coming into force date of January 15, 2020 will apply for lot code labeling of consumer prepackaged fresh fruit and vegetables, CFIA is providing industry with a one year extension on enforcement for lot code requirements on consumer prepackaged fresh fruit and vegetables to January 15, 2021. This flexibility will enable industry to use up existing packaging material and additional time to comply with new requirements.

The term "lot code" is not specifically defined in the SFCR nor in the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA), but is included in the SFCR: Glossary of key terms. CFIA has indicated that further guidance on use of growing region as a lot code will be forthcoming on their website in early 2020.

Preventive Control Plans and Preventive Controls
Importers of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada will be required to have a preventive control plan in place as a food hazard mitigation tool under SFCR. Importers with gross annual food sales below $100,000 CAD are exempted from this requirement. Preventive control plans (PCP) are not formally defined in SFCR, but CFIA guidance informs businesses of the requirements and how comply.

CFIA also provides guidance documentation on preventive controls, which are a systematic approach to identifying, controlling, and reducing food safety risks. Some examples of preventive control approaches to food safety include Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs, and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Canadian government and industry sources state that Canadian importers of U.S. fresh fruits and vegetables will likely require U.S. exporters to share documentation and implement preventive controls and PCPs to ensure that the importer is fully compliant with SFCR. CFIA provides importers PCP guidance as well as a PCP template.

Traceability
In addition to requirements for preventive control plans and preventive controls, the traceability provisions of SFCR will come into force for businesses that grow or harvest fresh fruits and vegetables on January 15, 2020.1 For businesses performing other activities, these requirements came into force on January 15, 2019.2 Traceability requirements are designed to encompass a trace forward (to whom was the food provided) and trace back (from whom the food was acquired) to facilitate any necessary recall activity. SFCR requirements stipulate documents must be kept for a two-year period and must be in a format that is accessible in Canada (this includes the ability to provide CFIA with the documents within 24 hours or less if requested in either English or French).

Trends in outbreaks of produce-related illness[edit]

An analysis of 3,500 food-poisoning outbreaks between 1990 and 2003 found that contaminated produce was responsible for the greatest number of individual foodborne illnesses. The study, by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, found that produce caused 428 outbreaks and 23,857 cases of illness.[1]

Authorities note that several factors have contributed to the rise in outbreaks:

  • Great consumption of fresh produce, especially cut fruits and vegetables.
  • Wider distribution.
  • Improved electronic reporting of outbreaks.
  • An aging population more susceptible to foodborne illness.
  • Unlike meat, which can be rid of bacteria through proper cooking, fresh produce is often meant to be consumed raw.[2]

Salmonella is a common source of foodborne illness.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted in 2007 that fruit and vegetable-related outbreaks of food poisoning are on the rise and had struck in spinach, tomatoes, lettuce and cantaloupes. The agency urged fruit and vegetable processors to adopt food safety plans similar to those in the meat industry.[3]

An outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul in 2008 was characterized by the US Center for Disease Control as the largest foodborne outbreak in a decade. Some 1304 infected persons were identified in 43 states, at least 252 were hospitalized and two deaths were possibly linked to the outbreak. CDC noted that the trace back of fresh produce, such as tomatoes, through the supply chain could be very difficult and labor-intensive.[4] Ironically, the carrier item was ultimately determined to be jalapeño peppers, not tomatoes.[5]

Benefits[edit]

Tracing of an item through various stages of production, manufacturing, processing, handling, transportation, sales and consumption is a widespread practice in today's world. Manufacturers may require purchasers to register ownership of a product to facilitate possible future recall for safety reasons or warranty fulfillment. The Post Office and package delivery companies make widespread use of tracking packages from pickup to delivery, even to destinations on the other side of the world.

Some often-recognized benefits of traceability include:

  • Ability to determine the origin of a product, ingredient or component.
  • Simplifies problem-solving in event of defective or contaminated product, ingredient or component.
  • Allows issues to be more quickly identified, contained and resolved.
  • Limits losses and lowers costs.
  • Protects public health and safety.
  • Builds trust and confidence in affected products, businesses or systems.
  • Verifies that produce is locally grown.[6]
  • Improves operating efficiencies for growers, packers and shippers.[7]

Voluntary industry initiatives[edit]

In 1930, produce industry leaders sponsored legislation to require an internal trail of accounting between buyers and sellers along the entire produce marketing chain. This law, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) of 1930, set the foundation for basic traceability.[8] More recently, the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 required food companies to keep records that could be traced in the produce supply chain (i.e.one step up and one step back).[9] Based on these records, many organizations in the fresh produce distribution chain have long maintained the ability to trace products inside their enterprise. In simple terms, they know where they got it and where they sent it, but with products that may move through multiple parties who may transform or comingle them, trying to connect many links quickly in time of crisis is a challenge.

Some 30 years ago, manufacturers and retailers created an organization called GS1 to improve the efficiency of the distribution of food and consumer goods to supermarkets. Today GS1 is a leading global organization dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors.[10][11] One of its many programs was to develop the now-familiar bar code on products that can be scanned at checkout by retailers. GS1‚international standards will provide the foundation for the PTI.

Multiple shippers, distributors and retailers in the produce industry have endorsed the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) to encourage adoption of whole chain traceability. The initiative's sponsor associations include United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh), Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and Produce Marketing Association (PMA).[12] Both internal and external traceability programs are needed in order to effectively track and trace product up and down the supply chain, achieving whole-chain traceability. At present, most companies have internal traceability programs but not external traceability. The PTI outlines a six-step course of action to achieve chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability of every case produce by the year 2012. Meanwhile, companies are putting into operation technologies that will support the PTI.

The document provides a guide for fresh produce growers/primary producers, packers/repackers, suppliers/ distributors/traders/exporters or importers, wholesalers, retailers and foodservice operators.

Figure 2‑1Overview of the Produce Supply Chain

2.1 Supply chain overview - Image 0

Figure 2‑2 Overview of the Produce Supply Chain

2.1 Supply chain overview - Image 1
2.1 Supply chain overview - Image 2

Note: “The purpose of this graphic is to provide a high level, simplified overview of the fruit and vegetable supply chain including key stakeholders and activities across stakeholders. Internal operations and movement of product (or information) within a stakeholder’s business (e.g. movement of product from a retailer’s distribute centre to store locations) are not included but does not exclude them from traceability.

2.1 Supply chain overview - Image 3

Note: Configuration of trade units (e.g. cases) or logistics units (e.g. pallets) may change as product is shipped to the next actor in the supply chain.

  • 2.2 Supply chain needs

The two main drivers for fresh fruit and vegetable traceability are regulatory requirements and the need for greater transparency.

Compliance with regulatory requirements

Product traceability is already a requirement in many different countries all of whom have adopted the ‘one up one down’ approach for prescribed supplier and consumer information. Hence there is already traceability at all stages of growing, packaging (repackaging), processing and distribution from harvesting to retail.

In other jurisdictions there may be different data requirements, and also a different emphasis on traceability requirements. But generally, whilst it is expected that the one up, one down requirement will often be sufficient, there may be additional requirements applicable to other geographical or regulatory constraints.

2.2 Supply chain needs - Image 0

Note: It is the participant’s responsibility to be aware of target market requirements.

How can the traceability data be used?

Providing compliance evidence to regulators and trading partners

The regulatory requirements lead to stricter reporting requirements. Retailers demand precise data from their suppliers and authorities are demanding detailed data on fresh food both imported and domestic.

Providing data to the consumer

Consumers are more and more interested to know the origin of the product they buy and how it was produced. Based on the traceability data suppliers and retailers can provide detailed and verifiable information on the package as well as online via website or mobile app.

Supplier management

Based on traceability data companies can tighten their supply chain partnerships. Upstream suppliers are able to provide accurate, real-time data and therefore establish trustworthy information exchange and strong relationships. Downstream the data can be used in order to communicate at the point-of-sale where goods are coming from and who processed them in what manner. This can support consumer trust. Furthermore, companies in the supply chain can evaluate the traceability data and its quality from their preliminary stage.

This enables setting data quality goals as part of an integrated supplier management.

Supporting product recalls

Traceability data are an essential prerequisite for the management of product recalls. It allows the analysis of the cause of an issue by tracing the origin of the product upstream, and quickly locate product lot/batches that were already distributed downstream.

  • 2.3 Supply chain roles and responsibilities

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