Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge (AGBR), in support of its 240 independent retailers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas, has advanced efforts to comply with the FDA’s FSMA 204 food traceability law through automation with the ReposiTrak Traceability Network®. As the world’s largest operating traceability network, the ReposiTrak solution enables the exchange and maintenance of FDA-required data between the co-op’s suppliers, distribution center and retail locations.
“As an organization, it is our mission to provide our retailers with technologies that drive results and simplify the overall responsibilities of running a retail grocery store,” said David Politz, senior vice president and chief information officer of Associated Grocers, Inc. “Food traceability adds a new layer of complexity to day-to-day operations for many – if not all – of our members, and it was important to us to tackle this problem and find a solution that works for the retailer.”
The FDA’s FSMA 204 food traceability regulation requires manufacturers, processors and those who pack or hold foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL) to establish and maintain Key Data Element (KDE) records for specific Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) in a product’s journey through the supply chain. As that product changes hands or changes form, a compounding string of data must be transferred between trading partners to provide full, end-to-end traceability. The AGBR supply chain consists of hundreds of suppliers, a distribution center and more than 240 independent retail locations operating under multiple banners.
“The ease of use and extremely low cost are what drew us to the solution,” Politz continues. “Through the ReposiTrak Traceability Network, there is a level of comfort in knowing that we’re capturing the data required by the FDA and that it’s being assembled and stored for us according to the FSMA 204 law. Additionally, we, and our suppliers and retailers, have direct access and visibility to that information. Lastly, the ReposiTrak solution enables us to shoulder as much of the burden as possible and, therefore, ease the obligation of our retailers.”
The ReposiTrak Traceability Network is the only solution that’s scalable for the total food supply chain, without the need for new hardware, software or even labeling systems. It is built upon the largest, already-connected network of more than 110,000 individual supplier facilities, making the onboarding process faster and easier for retailers. In addition, ReposiTrak’s team of experts is prepared to have real conversations with food supply chain operators to understand each company’s unique challenges and determine the best approach. There is no cost for retailers and suppliers can connect to an unlimited number of customers and begin sharing data for a low, flat fee.