New U.S. meat, poultry traceability guide issued

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON – On July 14, a new implementation guide for applying traceability standards in the U.S. meat and poultry supply chain was announced by the Meat and Poultry B2B Data Standards Organization (mpXML) and GS1 US. Free of charge and available immediately, the guide was developed with U.S. meat and poultry suppliers and retailers “to provide consistent, practical product-traceability guidance for industry-wide use.”

It defines minimum requirements and best-practice recommendations for tracking products as they move through the supply chain from suppliers to grocery retailers. The guide is available for download at www.mpxml.org.

Contributors to the guide’s development include Butterball LLC; Costco Wholesale Corporation; Farmland Foods; Perdue Farms; Safeway Inc.; Smithfield Foods; Supervalu, Inc.; Topco Associates LLC; Tyson Foods; Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op LLC; Walmart; and Wegmans Food Markets. The document was also developed in association with A.M.S. and the industry trade associations American Lamb Board, American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Pork Board and the National Turkey Federation. It is also endorsed by their boards.

“We believe that this guideline will help promote a consistent approach to traceability both internally and externally,” said Gary Cooper, chief information officer, Tyson Foods Inc. “It provides the fundamental steps for members of the meat and poultry supply chain to implement traceability practices that add value to their existing processes,”

Based on global standards, the guidelines apply to all types of meat and poultry products. The document includes illustrations and photographs that demonstrate precise “how-to” instructions for use of numerical identifiers, bar codes and other standards needed for traceability.

“We view traceability as a component of an orderly marketing system, and this guide is a great example of industry collaboration to standardize the business processes that relate to traceability,” said Doug Bailey, chairman of mpXML and chief information officer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (U.S.D.A). Agricultural Marketing Service (A.M.S.).

“The diligent work by all these organizations will help the industry improve traceability and make the supply chain more visible and efficient,” said Sabina Saksena, chief community insights and strategic partnerships officer, GS1 US.

mpXML is a not-for-profit organization created to support the adoption of efficient e-commerce in the meat and poultry supply chain. The organization has established implementation guidance on data synchronization, the publication of product information in global catalogs, country of origin labeling and supply-chain traceability. It has also refined international meat and poultry product classification codes to reflect core product differences.

GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization that brings industry communities together to solve value-chain problems through adopting and implementing GS1 Standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries use GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the efficiency, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes.
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