( Courtesy iTradeNetwork )

iTradeNetwork has plans to offer 2,000 perishable food and beverage companies free use of its iTracefresh traceability suite, in what it calls an important leap to industry-wide traceability.

The company’s first phase of the plan is to offer the traceability tools to suppliers of commodities that are susceptible to “food safety events” already using the iTradeNetwork platform. Suppliers in the pilot will receive a free year of Label, the company’s Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) solution, and Transit Mobile, its PTI-Palletized Advance Ship Notice solution, according to a news release.

Those tools will capture and transmit traceability data as the commodity moves through the supply chain, and to make capturing the data easier, the company will add free hardware such as a printer and field kit.

After the pilot, iTradeNetwork plans to extend the plan to 2,000 more companies to growers of all sizes, from “small, remote farms in South America, to large farming operations in Yuma, Ariz., and Salinas, Calif.,” according to the release.

Rhonda Bassett-Spiers, CEO of iTradeNetwork, said the plan is to foster greater supply chain visibility and enable more efficient recalls. The company’s announcement of the pilot program comes as the Food and Drug Administration is launching what it calls a New Era of Smarter Food Safety, with an emphasis on improved traceability methods.

“We need to take steps to minimize the harmful effects of recalls for all parties — consumers, growers, retailers, and the industry as a whole,” Bassett-Spiers said in the release.

iTradeNetwork has a 20-year history, according to Dale Slaughenhaupt, chief technology officer, with a client base that includes grower-shippers, retailers, distributors, food manufacturers and logistics providers.

“This wide reach puts us in a very unique position to take meaningful strides toward industry-wide traceability,” he said in the release. “The offer will spark real change that will produce a ripple effect throughout the industry.” 

For more information on the program, visit https://info.itradenetwork.com/itrades-traceability-offering.

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