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Case Studies: Three examples of food traceability tracking
As part of expanding the GS1 standards for food and beverage companies in the U.S. and abroad, the Product Traceability Initiative (PTI) is designed to help maximize the effectiveness of existing trace-back procedures while standardizing the improved speed and efficiency of future traceability systems.
Three recent examples of improving this process involve food and beverage businesses integrating PTI best practices into their existing systems and experiencing improved results.
- Global produce supplier Oppenheimer Group, Safeway, and iTradeNetwork collaborated on a pilot for implementing produce traceability via the Advance Ship Notice system. This is conducted over the Internet in an electronic data information or extensible markup language format, providing information about when an order will be shipped and other information, including mode of transportation and carrier. Benefits include reduced costs for both suppliers and receivers due to not using Hybrid Pallet Labels; improved inventory and warehouse management for receivers due to advanced visibility of shipment; and elimination of “missing data” errors and the avoidance of labor of having to scan barcodes on each individual case.
- In response to repeated disease outbreaks at the burrito chain’s stores, Chipotle Mexican Grill is working with leading food experts—including a former FDA official—to find ways to prevent future health problems. A spokesperson from the chain said the restaurant has cut some smaller suppliers and is focusing on food traceability as a way to minimize contamination. Chipotle has partnered with traceability solution provider Food LogiQ to implement a traceability program based on GS1 standards for sharing standardized product information at each step along the supply chain. The collaboration resulted in improved QA and logistics efficiencies; real-time visibility of food at each point in the supply chain; improved stock recovery process; the ability to capture and share quality attributes throughout the supply chain and enhance reporting at the restaurant level; and more direct access to supplier-provided information about sustainability efforts.
- Leading Polish food retailer JMP (Jeronimo Martins Poland), through its Biedronka stores, implemented Global Trade Item Number on its variable measure fresh products such as meats, poultry, fresh salads, bread, dairy, and fish with GS1 barcodes. The switch enabled the chain to manage the expiration date of products in an automated way at the point of sale, ensuring that the products meet freshness quality standards, and are traceable in the event of a recall.—S.G. and C.M.