(OPENPRESS) December 31, 2008 -- United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) is the industry's leading trade association committed to driving the growth and success of produce companies and their partners. United Fresh represents the interests of member companies throughout the global, fresh produce supply chain, including family-owned, private and publicly traded businesses as well as regional, national and international companies. The association was founded in 1904 to represent the produce industry, and recently took the name United Fresh as a result of the 2006 merger of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association and the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association. United Fresh continues the shared mission of IFPA and UFFVA to promote the growth and success of produce companies and their partners. As fresh-cut and other forms of value-added processing continue to fuel industry growth in meeting consumer demand for high quality, convenient produce, the association continues to provide the highest level of expertise and management support for members in these critical areas. The mission at TraceGains (www.TraceGains.com) is to protect the brand of food and beverage clients by eliminating problems before product is shipped to the customer. TraceGains is a UFPA Member.
UFPA President Tom Stenzel said: "The CPMA (Canadian Produce Marketing Association) and PMA (Produce Marketing Association) work on traceability to date has provided a good roadmap for the industry. Now, it's critical to drive industry support to actually implement some of these systems that can provide the traceability we need, without inefficiencies or costs that could be imposed upon us by well-meaning legislators or regulators who don't understand our industry."
The GS1-128 label for produce traceability is a barcoded and human-readable sequence of numbers that includes mandatory and optional information. The recent decisions by the Produce Traceability Initiative Committee will require GS1-128 labeling of all produce at the case or item-level, placing the responsibility at the start of the food supply chain. Requirements include stringent barcoding and labeling standards in both machine and human readable formats. Some of this information can only be captured and generated at the time of harvest, such as harvest date, field location, and assignment of a unique lot-number. This will place a greater strain on the speed and efficiency of a packing and shipping operation. TraceGains delivers a turnkey GS1-128 traceability solution allowing clients to easily meet compliancy, with only minor adjustments to daily operations. According to Gary Nowacki, CEO, "TraceGains offers a Web-based service that requires no capital expense for software or IT. The service lets customers certify that product has left operations within full compliance of all production and safety standards, and can be used to quickly clear product of involvement in a category recall. This accelerates the re-opening of markets, avoiding catastrophic financial losses."
TraceGains meets and exceeds GS1-128 labeling standard to achieve regulatory compliance, and go beyond to monitor and meet business and commercial compliance and traceability objectives, all while enjoying the lowest startup and operational costs with minimal changes to existing operations. There is sophisticated recall management, which narrows the recall cone from one or more days of production to a much smaller group of product, drastically reducing financial losses and brand damage. Label at the case and item-level including all mandatory barcode and human readable requirements and options (as well as print customized labels locally, encode them with a company logo and variable information, including GS1-128 and any customer-specified information.)
Customers are able to document the pedigree of all product in the case of a suspected recall, provide traceability from case ID back to the farm field zone (not just trace-back, but rapid track-forward to minimize time and expense of a recall.) The best outcome for a recall is preventing the recall in the first place. TraceGains continuously monitors the enterprise, co-packers, contract manufacturers, and upstream suppliers for compliance with business rules and regulation mandates. Real-time alerting and risk assessment adds an extra safety net and layer of brand protection.
TraceGains, Inc. (www.tracegains.com) was founded in 1998 with a 100% focus on traceability. The company has a patented delivery system —14 patents granted and growing —and also is an Issuer of United States Department of Agriculture Process Verification Program (PVP) Label.
Marc Simony, Director of Marketing
TR Cutler, Inc.
3032 S. Oakland Forest Dr.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309