U.S – Independent supermarkets across the southern states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas, have surged ahead in aligning with the latest federal food traceability laws mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Spearheading this compliance initiative is Associated Grocers, Inc., a wholesale distributor supporting over 240 grocers in the region.
In a recent announcement, Associated Grocers revealed a strategic partnership with ReposiTrak, leveraging the cutting-edge ReposiTrak Traceability Network technology. This move places these supermarkets in a commendable position, complying with the FSMA section 204 food traceability law more than two years ahead of the stipulated deadline of January 20, 2026.
The ReposiTrak Traceability Network technology promises to revolutionize the tracking and accessibility of crucial data mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This implementation not only facilitates adherence to regulatory requirements but also ensures swift identification and removal of potentially contaminated food items from the market, significantly reducing the risk of food-borne illnesses and fatalities, as underscored by the FDA in a statement released in November.
Among the extensive list of traceable items are cheeses, eggs, butters, various fruits and vegetables, and finfish, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing food safety measures.
David Politz, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Associated Grocers, expressed the significance of tackling the complexity introduced by food traceability.
“Food traceability adds a new layer of complexity to day-to-day operations for many – if not all – of our members, and it was important to us to tackle this problem and find a solution that works for the retailer,” he stated.
The implemented technology by ReposiTrak involves maintaining Key Data Element (KDE) records for Critical Tracking Events (CTE) as products traverse the supply chain. This ensures that, as goods change hands or transform into new products, the requisite data is seamlessly transferred between trading partners, guaranteeing end-to-end traceability.
Crucially, the ReposiTrak network, comprising over 110,000 individual supplier facilities, empowers Associated Grocers to alleviate the burden on its retail partners.
Remarkably, the technology comes at no cost for retailers, allowing suppliers to connect with an unlimited number of customers and commence data sharing for a low, flat fee.