East Coast traceability service expands into Mexico - The Packer

East Coast traceability service expands into Mexico

05/23/2012 12:51:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

An East Coast traceability systems provider is going south to help Mexican grower-shippers meet food safety requirements.

Richmond, Va.-based ConcernTrak Inc. is launching a Mexican traceability service.

The Internet-based ConcernTrak program allows shippers to track raw ingredients, commingled products or more at unit- and case-level.

The company market its services as an affordable solution for small and medium-sized growers, said Mary Smith, ConcernTrak’s vice president of business development.

The company announced a partnership with Etytec, a Guadalajara-based reseller of printers, labels and supply chain logistics systems. at a May 17 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Connections event in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Etytec now markets ConcernTrak’s traceability service in Mexico, and ConcernTrak plans to provide training and technical support to customers through its network of Mexican locations.

Smith said ConcernTrak’s services could help Mexican grower-shippers comply with U.S. food safety rules.

“What we found is many of these smaller companies are very confused,” she said. “They don’t understand. They know some things are required but aren’t sure how to implement them. Fairly or unfairly, they feel like they’re scrutinized much more than the American companies. Whenever something happens, people point fingers at them.”

However, Mexican exporters are upgrading safety processes and state agriculture departments support grower investments to meet Food Safety Modernization Act requirements, Smith said.

“They view these traceability requirements not with resentment but as putting up more obstacles for them,” Smith said. “If the requirements are confusing for American companies, what must they be like for Mexican farmers?”

Smith said ConcernTrak is in the process of training and providing technical support to Etytec representatives.

Entirely online without any required software downloads, the subscription service provides grower-shippers access to their confidential shipping records, Smith said.

ConcernTrak began operations in 2010.

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