LOS ANGELES — KPG Solutions Inc., Longwood, Fla., plans to offer an open-source, item-level traceability platform early next year.

That means consumers will be able to trace the produce they buy at the grocery store back to the grower-shipper, and the supply and buyer community can implement it for free, said KPG chairman and chief executive officer Angela Paymard.

KPG announced other company changes at its Silver Man Symposium in Los Angeles, Nov. 18-20.

Paymard said the open source site should be available in the spring. KPG is putting together a working group now and plans to make the draft document available on its Web site Dec. 7.

"We realize consumers want to know more about their food," Paymard said. "This system allows grower-shippers and buyers to quickly and easily implement it into their existing systems."

She said KPG will work with any marketer's lowest level of item information, so that means fresh-cut packs, clamshells or Price Look-Up numbers would be able have information allowing consumers to trace it back to the grower.

The plan complements what is already being done as part of the Produce Traceability Initiative, Paymard said.

Company changes

In other company news, KPG plans to transition to a new name early next year: N2N Global.

Paymard said the idea is to recognize the increasingly global nature of the produce industry and promote the company being an end-to-end services provider.

Next year, KPG's Ernesto Nardone will take on the title of CEO, taking more responsibility for the company's operations, while Paymard retains the chairman title.

The company also plans to begin in January a program called "N2N University," offering classes designed to help and educate client companies' information technology staff on its platform. The program trains and certifies people on KPG software, industry standards, the IBM platform and food safety.