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Traceability Insider

August 2014
How Digitization is About to Change the Rules of Your Business

June 2014
Food Waste, We are Fed Up, and a Gladson Case Study

May 2014
Ag Tech and the Power of Catchy Criticism

March 2014
Labels are Soooo 1990, “Thorny” food labeling law

January 2014
Oxymoronic Grocery Predictions and Big Data for the Produce Industry

December 2013
The Gift of Growing – Helping Kids Get Their Hands Dirty!

November 2013
Produce Brand Strategy, Visibility and Transparency

September 2013
A "Lean" Supply Chain, Knowing your Shopper

April 2013
Food Waste, The Rolling Stones, Raley's, and Tanimura & Antle

March 2013
First Look! FDA Releases IFT Traceability Report and Lessons from Europe's Horsemeat Crisis Every Fresh Food Brand Should Learn

January 2013
What Does the Future Hold?

September 2012
"Locale" Produce and Reducing the Impact of Recalls

January 2012
Making the Case for Traceability

September 2011
GTINs – the Devil Is in the Details

August 2011
Turbocharge Mobile Marketing with HarvestMark and QR Codes

May 2011
Traceability Insider

January 2011
It's a New Year. What's the latest on PTI?

May 2010
HarvestMark Makes its VoiceCode™ Solution Open Source

December 2009
IFT Publishes Traceability Report for FDA

Holiday Issue 2009
What Happened at the FDA/USDA Hearing on Food Traceability

September 2009
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

August 2009
How to Avoid Synching Without Trace

July 2009
What's the Value of PTI?

May 2009
Case-Level and Item-Level Traceability-What You Need to Know

April 2009
Still Have Questions about PTI? Don't Worry, You're Not Alone

March 2009
PTI, GS1, GTIN, GLN? HarvestMark's Got the FAQs

January 2009
The First PTI Milestone is Around the Corner

December 2008
A Pivotal Year for Food Safety

November 2008
FDA Solicits Public Comment on Enhanced Produce Traceability

October 2008
Produce Traceability Initiative Action Plan Released

September 2008
How Will Greater Transparency Enhance Your Business?

Español - 01 2012
Elaborando el Caso para Trazabilidad

Español - 03 2012
La Más Reciente Norma de la FDA es Efectiva Inmediatamente. ¿Debería Usted Estar Preocupado?

August 2013
How Walmart Could Implement PTI, Crowdsourced Shopper Insights

June 2010
How to Interpret the PTI announcement of "Goal Unchanged, Milestones Adjusted"

December 2010
An Update on the PTI

July 2010
Produce Traceability in Foodservice

February 2010
What's Going on with the PTI

March 2010
Consumer Attitudes to Traceability

August 2010
HarvestMark Launches Consumer Campaign in Portland, OR

March 2011
Have you heard of the PLU DataBar Initiative?

November 2011
Traceability? There’s an App for That

December 2012
It’s all new. Introducing HarvestMark 2013.

March 2012
The FDA's Latest Ruling is Effective Immediately. Should You be Worried?

June 2012
Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

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November 2008: FDA Solicits Public Comment on Enhanced Produce Traceability


(November 13, 2008) OAKLAND, California. The FDA held the second of two public hearings to gather input on ways to enhance produce traceability, and the potential role of regulators. As at the Oct. 16 meeting in College Park, MD, FDA officials again raised concerns about gaps in the traceability system that have hindered investigators during trace-back efforts, including: lack of electronic records, inconsistent naming schemes, commingling, vulnerability to weak links, and a lack of produce identifiers. The FDA also acknowledged that a trace-back system that relies on asking sickened consumers what and where they ate in the past two weeks is deeply flawed. Representatives of the produce industry emphasized that most companies have internal traceability systems in place, and comply with the 2002 Bioterrorism Act's recordkeeping mandates. They suggested that recent initiatives such as the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, and the California Tomato Growers' food safety practices make 'reinventing the wheel' unnecessary.

The session returned frequently to several central questions:

  • Are the PTI guidelines sufficient for the FDA? And if so, would the FDA mandate compliance (and punish non-compliance), or rely on voluntary adoption?
  • Assuming compliance was voluntary, the FDA questioned what were the incentives for the produce industry to comply?
  • What would compliance cost, both for industry and for regulators? And would the industry support a charge to cover the increased enforcement cost?
  • What data specifically would the FDA want the industry to share? What authority would the FDA have to request such data, and how would confidential information be protected?

During the public comments session, several technology providers shared details of their systems both real and theoretical. Scott Carr, CEO of HarvestMark, shared the company's 2 year's experience of deploying its HarvestMark produce traceability solutions in a wide variety of commodities, workflows, and packaging types. Scott noted that HarvestMark is fully compatible with the PTI standards, and the company is helping customers implement external traceability with minimal impact on productivity. Furthermore, external traceability with HarvestMark opens opportunities to create real business value. Examples of traceable clamshells of tomatoes from Del Campo were shared with the FDA panel, and the advantages of extending traceability beyond the case all the way through to the end consumer were discussed.

Transcripts of presentations will be available from the FDA in the near future. Meanwhile, you can download a copy of the Notice in the Federal Register