Global seafood supplier to major retailers and restaurants chooses the ReposiTrak Traceability Network to further its goal of facilitating a sustainable, traceable and ethical seafood economy
ReposiTrak, the largest network of food supply chain operators connected through one supply chain, food safety and supplier management technology platform, has welcomed Haven Foods, LLC, to its ReposiTrak Traceability Network, the solution backed by the industry for being easy to adopt and the lowest cost possible. Joining the Network enables Haven Foods to seamlessly exchange traceability information from feed to store between its fresh and frozen seafood suppliers and producers and its retail and restaurant clients across the world, helping it meet and exceed the Food and Drug Administration's recently finalized Food Safety Modernization Act Section 204 (FSMA 204) rule on traceability.
"Beyond the immediate need to comply with FSMA 204, Haven Foods came to us with an objective to make full, end-to-end traceability a part of its everyday operation and a true understanding of the inherent good that comes with it, including better and simpler transparency for its suppliers and customers and more efficient use of resources," said ReposiTrak Chairman and CEO Randy Fields. "As Haven Foods has grown, so have the number of forms and systems it was using to collect traceability information, which would have made FSMA 204 compliance next to impossible."
While many of Haven Foods' suppliers were sending traceability information to the company, there were inconsistencies in the formatting and level of detail provided. Their suppliers, ranging from open-ocean fisheries in South America to farms in Asia, each adhere to the recordkeeping standards of their country and sometimes down to regional or local levels, which vary in granularity. For example, some suppliers were able to track the type of feed used in a specific plot of a pond, where others had no structured method to capture feed information. Data was most commonly sent to Haven Foods in spreadsheets, in the body of an email or contained in an attachment. The trouble was extracting that data and organizing it in a way that allowed Haven Foods to share it with customers and use it for business insights.
"Transparency is just as important to our company as our work in sourcing safe, high-quality and sustainable seafood. It's part of our brand that can only be made possible through true, end-to-end traceability," said Haven Foods Co-founder Nicholas Leonard. "So many of our products are included on the FSMA 204 Food Traceability List and we recognize that international suppliers might not know and understand the FDA requirements like we do. They may use different systems and the information available varies, but the ReposiTrak Traceability Network synchronizes what they send in any format and makes it useable and accessible, at a cost that doesn't impact margin."
The FDA published the FSMA 204 regulation in November 2022, requiring companies that manufacture, process, 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 FTL products sourced and distributed by Haven Foods include finfish species like tuna and tilapia and crustacean species like shrimp and crab. Other examples of FTL categories are tomatoes, deli salads, nut butters and leafy greens, each comprised of thousands of SKUs.
The ReposiTrak Traceability Network was developed in response to concerns brought forth by the Food Traceability Leadership Consortium, a group of industry trade organizations, wholesalers and retailers that echoed Haven Foods' concerns of finding a low-cost, easy-to-use traceability solution to meet and exceed FDA's FSMA 204 requirements. Suppliers can connect to an unlimited number of trading partners in the Network and begin sharing data for a low, flat fee, and there is no cost to retailers.