People have a deep, emotional connection with their food. When they hear that there is a problem, they want to know what it is and that the information they are getting about their food is accurate. We often speak about the “race to disclosure.” Speed matters; the faster we can get accurate information to the consumers, the better the outcome for all parties. Traceability can help create strong food safety programs and help build consumer confidence. We as an industry need all participants in the supply chain to do their part in order to have effective whole-chain traceability.
Dr. Suslow is vice president of produce safety for PMA. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Treacy is vice president, supply chain and sustainability, at PMA. Hepner is director, technology, at PMA. Reach her at email@example.com. And Estes is PMA’s vice president of technology.
* For specialty crops, a uniquely identifiable product description should provide more detail than a category, such as sweet cherry, and should provide a recognized varietal name. Variety differences have proved to be important in projections of defining shelf-life expectations during outbreak investigations and in developing public advisory notifications.