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associated-grocers-inc.jpeg Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge

Associated Grocers gets leg up on FDA traceability law, brings over 240 supermarkets into compliance

The food distributor is partnering with tech firm ReposiTrak to maintain data records aimed at preventing food-borne illness

Independent supermarkets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas, who receive goods from wholesale distributor Associated Grocers, Inc., are now in compliance with new federal food traceability laws under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Associated Grocers, which supports more than 240 grocers across the southern states, announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with ReposiTrak to deploy the company’s ReposiTrak Traceability Network technology to sufficiently track and make available data required by the Food and Drug Administration. 

The company achieved compliance with the FSMA section 204 food traceability law more than two years in advance of the record keeping law becoming a requirement on Jan. 20, 2026. The new rule “will allow for faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer food-borne illnesses and/or deaths,” according to a statement released by the FDA in November. 

The list of foods that require traceability is extensive and includes cheeses, eggs, butters, a variety of fruits and vegetables, finfish, and more. 

“Food traceability adds a new layer of complexity to day-to-day operations for many – if not all – of our members, and it was important to us to tackle this problem and find a solution that works for the retailer,” said David Politz, senior vice president and chief information officer of Associated Grocers, Inc., in a statement.

The requirements under the new rule include maintaining Key Data Element (KDE) records for Critical Tracking Events (CTE) as products make their way through the supply chain. As the goods change hands or are used to create a new product, the data must also be transferred between trading partners to assure end-to-end traceability, ReposiTrak said in a press release. 

Politz said the new tech will enable Associated Grocers to “shoulder as much of the burden as possible” for its retail partners. The tech is built upon ReposiTrak’s network of more than 110,000 individual supplier facilities. “There is no cost for retailers, and suppliers can connect to an unlimited number of customers and begin sharing data for a low, flat fee,” the company said. 

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