The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will impose additional technical, financial, and operational burdens on food retailers when Section 204 of the law is published, under a court order, this November. To address this and other compliance issues, the National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has entered into a multi-year agreement with ReposiTrak to be NGA’s traceability and supplier compliance partner as a step forward in bringing guidance, education, and support to the independent wholesale and retail grocery community.
The new FSMA rules will have the impact of changing the way every food store and distribution center in the country records the delivery of shipments. Specifically, retailers, wholesalers, and their trading partners must maintain records of every movement of several fresh product categories from the point of origin to the point of sale to the consumer.
“Food safety is of paramount importance to independent grocers and their supplier partners,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president, and CEO. “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 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 program. NGA will host online thought leadership content and share it across various platforms, including website, newsletters, email blasts, and a webinar series. Additionally, ReposiTrak will participate in NGA events and offer a special rate for its services to NGA member companies.
“NGA’s strategic partnership and support of the ReposiTrak Traceability Network is the first step toward industry-wide adoption of our easy and inexpensive solution that will improve food safety, enable faster and more precise recalls, and even usher in the potential for food waste reduction and better transparency for consumers,” said ReposiTrak Chairman and CEO Randy Fields. “Through more than two decades of work in the grocery supply chain, we’ve understood that traceability will be inherently good for the industry.”
The FDA has stated that the initial list of 16 categories and thousands of products covered by Section 204 is the starting point further to improve the safety of the food supply chain. It will take time to fully adopt new technology and change processes to implement end-to-end traceability; as members prepare for the switch, NGA will provide resources.