Tampa, Fla. (PRWEB) March 16, 2009
Monday marks the deadline for grocers to comply with meat country of origin labeling (COOL) guidelines released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
COOL went into effect for wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish in 2005. There were industry efforts to keep COOL as a minimum impact to the meat department; however, on Sept. 30, 2008, the USDA published an interim final rule in the 2008 Farm Bill requiring COOL for additional covered meat products, with an enforcement date of March 16, 2009. The rule requires the grocer to label and sign meat as to country of origin and to keep records verifying the origin for the fresh-meat items produced in retail stores.
ADC, a leading provider of fresh-item, recipe-management, and scales software to the grocery-retail and food-service industries, announced the release of its solution to the new COOL requirements.
"This requirement presents to our grocery clients and Fresh Item Management prospects a real challenge. Many are wondering what regulations could be next and are looking for solutions that will allow them to quickly react to any future mandates," said Steve Loveridge, president of ADC.
To help the grocer track traceability of products through the entire fresh-production process, ADC has developed several software modules that easily manage fresh-item traceability details.
The Perishable Production Planning (P-Cubed) module allows grocers to track meat-, bakery- and deli-department inventory received, produced, sold, marked down and thrown away through a Web-centric thin-client Web-browser user interface. Quality grocery chains, such as United Supermarkets, Hannaford Brothers Co. and Lowes Supermarkets, have implemented ADC's InterStore Fresh Item Management (FIM) systems for users of all levels to track fresh inventory and production in retail departments.
To assist with the compliance of new COOL regulation updates, ADC's InterStore system (that includes specific capability in ADC's InterScale and P-Cubed modules for COOL compliance) automates the processes of country of origin labeling by passing the proper country information directly to the bar-code-labeling scales. When producing packages to be weighed, wrapped and labeled, the system provides the proper label, with minimum interruption of the current production process that the grocer's trained employees have perfected.
ADC's COOL software drives the proper country of origin selection options to Hobart, Mettler-Toledo and other scales that support new COOL operator features. With these scales, the in-store service personnel must select the country to print on the label; however, ADC's COOL module eliminates labeling errors by only listing the unique country options specific to each product for selection. The merchandisers maintain the information details centrally to keep the complexity out of the store and at headquarters, avoiding the need for country-specific PLU number duplication, and enabling the grocer to save costs at the headquarters and on in-store record-keeping systems.
Grocers may also couple this system with ADC's Grind Management module to assist the meat department in monitoring the exact contents of various meats used in a grind to ensure proper record keeping and labeling of ground packages. This system aids precision in production and is a forerunner to supporting Nutritional Meat Labeling - potentially the next regulatory sunrise that ADC can handle today. The system provides the shoppers with the same types of information on meat products that they see in the other service departments, with respect to ingredients, nutrition and dietary facts.
"With ADC's FIM suite, the grocer no longer has to worry about all of these emerging details in the fresh department and legislative sunrise dates," states Jan Dragotta, vice president of sales and marketing for ADC. "ADC even has an industry-best fresh-item recipe-management system, NutriGen, that ensures that the recipe used to generate fresh-item ingredients and nutrition-fact statements is the exact same recipe used by the store personnel to produce those finished items. At ADC, we put systems in place and take the room for error out."
As the USDA continues to respond to consumers' food-safety demands for nutritional and food-safety information, it will be important to implement a system that easily adapts and grows with the grocer's business needs.
For more information on ADC's InterStore.Net Fresh Item Management systems, visit http://www.ad-c.com/COOLMarch09.php.
To read about President Obama's recent take on food safety, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7943560.stm
Since 1989, ADC, Inc., has specialized in the development of data-management and communications solutions for the supermarket, grocery and fresh-food industries. ADC's InterScale management software is a global technology for host management of supermarket bar-code-printing scales. ADC has developed a new suite of fresh applications, called InterStore, that includes the following: InterScale scales management, NutriGen recipe management and P-Cubed perishable production planning. InterStore completes ADC's emergence into the FIM market with an integrated fresh framework to handle greater complexity and optimize production in the grocer's fresh-retail departments.
ADC has a history of pioneering and developing revolutionary Web-centric solutions. Successful products include a solid-state iScale server hardware as a carrier of InterScale software into the store. This device has outlived, by several years, many thin-client hardware platforms, and ADC recently announced its support for iScale to a 10-year supported useful life. ADC's innovation and lowest total cost of operations solutions have proven to be a value to clients by delivering continuous return on investment. Releasing ADC COOL demonstrates ADC's dedication to continuing this evolutionary benefit.
For more information on the COOL compliance March 16 deadline, please visit http://www.countryoforiginlabeling.info/Newsreleases/112008_Kentucky.pdf.