FoodLink Announces Acquisition of TrueTrac


October 19, 2012

FoodLink, the buying platform that connects fresh food retailers and wholesalers to a network of over 2,000 supplier companies, announced a definitive agreement to acquire TRUETRAC, a leading provider of mobile traceability solutions to growers, harvesters, packers and shippers of fresh produce.

The combined company will be the food industry’s first integrated network for the Produce Traceability Initiative that links crop planning, harvesting, packing, order management, shipping, receiving and individual item tracking from the field to the supermarket checkout line.

“Today, produce traceability enters the mainstream,” Eric Peters, chief executive officer of Los Gatos, CA-based FoodLink, said in an Oct. 19 press release. “The combination of FoodLink and TRUETRAC signals the emergence of a standard platform that brings exceptional value to the ‘first mile’ of food production and lets retailers leverage a single network to manage their fresh food buying processes, supply chain operations and overall food-safety and traceability program.”

Field-to-consumer solution

With the acquisition of TRUETRAC, FoodLink becomes the first fresh produce industry solution that directly connects the critical “first mile” information in the field, such as product harvest date, temperature and lot number, with sales order information between supplier companies and retail buyers.

The combination, managed across a single integrated network, aligns many different industry functions, systems and participants from the field to the consumer. The integrated solution also accelerates the flow of information from farm to store, and enables retailers and wholesalers to source the safest, highest-quality products while reducing waste and inefficiencies across the entire supply chain.

For growers and shippers, FoodLink can now offer TRUETRAC’s mobile platform to print and apply PTI-compliant labels to every packed case of produce. That information can be instantly associated with specific retail orders and delivery details over the FoodLink network.

“By joining with FoodLink, we are combining two great teams and also realizing TRUETRAC’s long-held vision of a simple, smart and connected PTI solution that can be rapidly adopted by all fresh produce suppliers,” Ray Connelly, CEO of TRUETRAC, which is based in Salinas, CA, added in the press release. “When you link the critical ‘first mile’ of harvest operations with the essential ‘second mile’ sales processes, and then bring product visibility all the way to the retail buyer and consumer, you’re solving one of the biggest challenges in this industry.”

With more than $10 billion in annual commerce and more than 2,000 fresh food suppliers, brokers and transportation carriers on its network, FoodLink is a leading platform for produce buying.

The acquisition of TRUETRAC will enable customers to access online traceability data, comply with PTI requirements, and gain insight into the product on their shelves and feedback from their shoppers.

For suppliers, the new FoodLink suite of products now includes a low-cost mobile PTI solution for case-level packing and shipping that can scale to growers of any size, as well as modules for crop planning, harvesting and item-level tracking. FoodLink suppliers can easily add any TRUETRAC product to their annual subscription plan.

Among FoodLink’s retail customers are industry leaders such as Ahold USA, Associated Wholesale Grocers, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Unified Grocers, Topco & Associates and Supervalu, as well as major regional grocers such as Giant Eagle, K-VA-T Food Stores, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Roundy’s Supermarkets and United Supermarkets.

TRUETRAC customers include leading suppliers in the industry such as Del Monte, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Pandol Bros., Kirschenman Enterprises, Growers Express, Mann Packing and Tanimura & Antle.

FoodLink and TRUETRAC will be exhibiting at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Convention (booth Nos. 2879 and 3287) Oct. 26-28 in Anaheim, CA. At the conference, Mr. Peters of FoodLink will present an educational session on “Selling Produce in an Era of Unprecedented Opportunity and Challenge,” Oct. 26 at 8:45 a.m.

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