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Can-Trace, in Collaboration with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, to Release Online Education Modules and Self-Assessment Tool to Facilitate Food Traceability

Toronto, ON — March 11, 2008 — Can-Trace, a collaborative and open initiative committed to the development of traceability standards for all food products sold in Canada, announced today that it will make available two online education modules and a traceability readiness self-assessment tool at www.can-trace.org this month.  The modules and self-assessment tool will help companies to implement traceability within their own business systems using a national, voluntary data standard.

"The business benefits of traceability are evident – it increases productivity, efficiency, market access and most importantly helps to gain consumers trust," said Jane Proctor, former Can-Trace Chair. “We are providing best practices, ‘how to’ scenarios for getting started with food traceability using an existing standard.  These practical tools will give companies of all sizes ways to integrate traceability into their own systems and yield business benefits.”

Developed in partnership with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), the online modules and self-assessment tool will provide companies of all scale with the necessary tools and resources to implement an effective and efficient traceability system that is based on the Canadian Food Traceability Data Standard (CFTDS), an internationally recognized data standard.  The CFTDS is an industry developed standard built by Can-Trace that provides a consistent approach to what information needs to flow between trading partners to establish whole-chain traceability.

First published in 2004 and now in its second version incorporating industry feedback, the CFTDS is based on a one-up/one-down model of sharing traceability information.  The CFTDS version 2.0 has been used as the basis for other traceability standards, including the CPMA and Produce Marketing Association’s joint “Fresh Produce Traceability Guide to Implementation” and the GS1 Traceability Standard.

In addition to publishing the standard, Can-Trace has worked collaboratively with industry and government to produce reference materials as well as provide guidance to stakeholders interested in traceability.  The standard, reports and other reference materials can be accessed at www.can-trace.org.

About Can-Trace
In July 2003, major Canadian trade associations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and GS1 Canada convened a tracking and tracing initiative named Can-Trace. The objective of Can-Trace is to identify requirements for a whole-chain Canadian food industry traceability program. The Can-Trace initiative is managed by a Steering Committee, composed of trade association and government representatives and funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. GS1 Canada is the initiative’s secretariat. To learn more about Can-Trace, visit www.can-trace.org.

Can-Trace is funded in part under the Agriculture Policy Framework - a federal - provincial - territorial initiative managed by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC).

About Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is a not-for-profit association committed to increasing the market for fresh fruit and vegetables in Canada, by encouraging cooperation and information exchange among all segments, in both the domestic and international arenas of the produce industry.  The CPMA represents and serves a vertically integrated membership involving all levels of the produce supply chain from the grower/packer/shipper to retail and foodservice. www.cpma.ca

About Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AAFC is a government organization in the Minister of Agriculture’s portfolio. AAFC’s mandate is to provide information, research and technology, and to create policies and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth. To learn more about Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, visit www.agr.gc.ca

The Canadian Food Safety and Quality Program (CFSQP) works to increase long term growth, employment and competitiveness within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as part of their commitment to provide information, research and technology, and policies and programs to ensure security of the food system, health of the environment and to promote innovation for growth.

About GS1 Canada
GS1 Canada is a not-for-profit organization that promotes and maintains global standards for the identification of goods, locations and related e-commerce communication. As a member organization of GS1, the leading supply chain standards organization in the world, GS1 Canada is the only authorized source for globally unique Company Prefix Licences in Canada, a standard term and condition of trade globally that enable organizations to create reliable, industry-compliant bar codes. GS1 Canada also provides a range of educational opportunities and business solutions, such as ECCnet Registry, Canada’s national product registry, and ECCnet Image & Validation (ECCnet I&V) services, which offer one-stop access to product images and dimensional data. In addition, GS1 Canada offers standards management for collaborative commerce, including bar codes and Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) and Electronic Product Code™/Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID), and continues to drive the e-commerce revolution by providing the leadership to help ensure that Canadian companies participate competitively. For more information, visit www.gs1ca.org.

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For more information, contact info@can-trace.org