Sep 19, 2023
IBM, iFoodDS partner on traceability solution for food safety

IFoodDS and IBM are collaborating on a tech-enabled traceability solution to help companies across the food supply chain address the FDA’s Food Traceability Rule. 

Also known as the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Section 204(d), the Food Traceability Rule requires companies that ship certain foods, including leafy greens and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, to have a higher level of traceability for those foods.

Building on decades of experience in food traceability software, the new solution, iFoodDS Trace Exchange (with IBM Food Trust), will cater to enterprise scalability demands and address supplier needs.

For small, large operations

IFoodDS and IBM are now offering an FSMA 204 traceability and compliance management solution capable of supporting the needs of the industry’s largest enterprises and suppliers of all sizes. The solution combines the scalability and interoperability of the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Intelligence Suite and the IBM Food Trust Network with iFoodDS’ traceability applications and innovative food industry, regulatory and technical expertise.

The FDA’s Food Traceability Rule establishes additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for businesses that manufacture, process, pack, or hold certain foods, and includes data sharing requirements that lay the foundation for connecting the food supply chain, to enable comprehensive traceability. Ultimately, the rule is expected to allow for faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, which can help reduce foodborne illnesses.

Frank-Yiannas
Yiannas

“Having been there at its inception, I believe IBM and iFoodDS working together can accelerate the creation of safer, more efficient, and transparent food supply chains that result in shared value for all participants,” Frank Yiannas, a former FDA official who recently joined the iFoodDS board of directors. “The joint solution can address the needs of large enterprises and suppliers of all sizes, connecting supply chains to enable continued business success and transparency that protects brands and consumers.” 

The joint solution is powered by the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Intelligence Suite and iFoodDS Trace Exchange and will allow companies to join and share data on the IBM Food Trust network. The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Intelligence Suite runs on the IBM Cloud and features enterprise-class security, reliability, and scalability. It facilitates data sharing via the IBM Food Trust network, which is compatible with the GS1 standards used by much of the food industry to help ensure interoperability for traceability systems. IFoodDS Trace Exchange gives clients access to purpose-built FSMA 204 data capture applications and methods, FSMA 204 compliance expertise, network dashboards and a seamless onboarding experience.

FSMA 204 compliance

With the FSMA 204 compliance deadline on Jan. 20, 2026, enterprise clients need a solution to get prepared. More information about the joint solution is available at ifoodds.com.

Beyond the goal of addressing FSMA 204 compliance, the joint solution is the foundation for a connected value chain, designed for stronger collaboration between trading partners and providing insights on product safety, quality, and freshness.

“We’re seeing incredible momentum in tech-enabled traceability adoption as the FDA’s deadline for FSMA 204 approaches,” Christina Shim, global head of product management and strategy for IBM Sustainability Software, said in the release. “By collaborating with iFoodDS, we can provide even more help to enterprise clients and their trading partners as they work to become FSMA compliant and can take a major step toward the industry’s goal of creating a safer, transparent, and sustainable food supply chain.”

“By combining iFoodDS’ FSMA 204 data capture capabilities and industry knowledge with IBM’s secured, scalable, and interoperable traceability platform, enterprises can get a fast path to compliance,” Scott Matthews, CEO of iFoodDS, said in the release. “We encourage businesses to invest in traceability not just for compliance, but also for the competitive advantage they can gain by leveraging data and insights.”

Yiannas joins iFoodDS board

Most recently, Yiannas was the deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the FDA, where he was responsible for a broad range of priorities, including implementing the Food Traceability Rule. Before the FDA, Yiannas spent more than 30 years in food safety leadership roles with Walmart and the Walt Disney Co.


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