Traceability is the new buzz word.  And it is significantly scaring growers .  In NC, we have initiated a two-part study on traceability.  The goal of the first part of this project is to evaluate the status and effectiveness of grower/packer/shipper traceback programs in NC to determine their ability to respond to a traceback investigation and recommend areas for improvement.   This study is lead by Dr. Benjamin Chapman.

The goal of the second part is to develop a pilot study to  analyze the existing traceability systems of three North Carolina produce organizations and to develop guidance for North Carolina growers, packers and shippers on how to implement The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) compliant traceability efficiently and effectively based on three size appropriate templates.   These studies were conducted as a collaborative efforts between Diane Ducharme,  NCSU with the N.C. MarketReady Program  and Andrew Kennedy of FoodLogiQ in 2009 and results have been compiles in a 2-part video.  This project was funded by the USDA Rural Development Fund.

Part 1: Farm to Retail Fresh Produce Traceability Pilot – provides a guide to the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI),  highlights 3 traceability templates that can be utilized for small, medium, and large producers,  as well as an evaluation and cost analysis of these systems.

Part 2:Pilot 2: provides a look at three (3) scale-diverse organization studied for different perspectives on the PTI implementation, key internal and external challenges encountered, and important economic costs associated with the PTI.

To further advance the discussion of whole-chain traceability, the following links might be helpful:

Produce Traceability Initiative

Hearings to review the legal and technical capacity for full traceability in fresh produce

Traceability in the Food Supply Chain– DHHS; Office of Inspector General

Traceability (Product Tracing) in Food Systems: 
An IFT Report Submitted to the FDA, Volume 2: Cost Considerations
and Implications

An Analysis of the First-Order Economic Costs of the 2008 FDA Tomato  Warning*