New traceability requirements affect the entire fresh foods supply chain
Salinas, CA – On November 7, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a shot across the bow of the fresh foods supply chain when it published the final version of the Food Traceability Rule, also known as FSMA 204.
While the rule filled critical traceability gaps in the supply chain by adding requirements for both the first mile (grower to shipper) and last mile (warehouse to store/restaurant), the scramble to fulfill these new requirements and getting knowledgeable guidance has left the industry searching for answers and efficient solutions. Inteligistics is now offering tailored consulting services to help companies identify processes and methods to address this industry dilemma.
The intent of FSMA 204, which becomes effective on January 20, 2026, is to allow regulators to identify the source and extent of foodborne illness outbreaks faster to alert the public and avoid wide-spread public health issues. FSMA 204 requires tracing each carton back to the farm, ranch or lot and reporting the information to FDA regulators within 24 hours. Most companies could gather and report the information today at the pallet level, but once a pallet is broken down and distributed, the detailed information is lost.
“FSMA 204 doesn’t impose specific requirements on growers such as carton level labeling or electronic records, but as retailers look for their own compliance solutions, they are likely to need participation from their suppliers,” said Rao Mandava, Inteligistics CEO and Chairman. “This will require companies throughout the fresh foods supply chain to work together to develop solutions that work for all parties. It also presents the opportunity for companies to use supply chain digital data systems to gain additional efficiencies, reduce costs and increase revenues. The results from using these advanced technology processes can offset the cost of the regulatory requirements, and can result in a stronger partnership with your trading partners and a profitable return for all.”
“Companies must comply with FSMA 204, but they have a choice whether to approach this as a regulatory compliance expense, or as supply chain automation investment with a net bottom line benefit,” said Lawrence Mallia, Inteligistics VP, Digital Transformation. “Based on years of experience working with retailers and suppliers, Inteligistics offers proven advanced technology applications to the stakeholders”.
“The ultimate benefit comes from a comprehensive, end-to-end data platform that includes digital data collection and reporting. This information is then applied to advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for efficiency improvements in systems such as cooling assets, cold storage warehouses, retailer inventory picking systems, and even predictive shelf life,” said Mandava.
“The key to a successful digital transformation is planning and implementation, including development of a digital twin or parallel system to identify process issues and fine-tune the approach before full implementation,” added Mallia. “We have been advising our clients for years, and now that retailers and suppliers face the uncertainty of complying with FSMA 204, we are offering our consulting services to help them identify and deploy the ‘right’ solution for their company.”
For more information on Inteligistics, visit https://www.inteligistics.com.
Inteligistics is uniquely placed in perishables industries using Silicon Valley technology and process improvements to bring digital transformation, turn Big Data into clear actions through AI/ML, and deliver high value improvements to supply chain and cold chain performance for perishable commodities. The resulting increase in productivity and reduction in critical cut-to-cool times, resources help meet sustainability goals. Using IoT, off-the-shelf wireless hardware, and proprietary cloud-based applications, Inteligistics develops custom solutions and provides an end-to-end integrated supply chain platform and standalone applications that improve quality, throughput, increase profits and deliver high ROI on the critical process of moving product from field to consumer. Visit inteligistics.com and linkedin.com/company/inteligistics.