Bruce Peterson was really the father of the produce industry’s traceability initiative. It was his insight while at Wal-Mart that many products had recalls, but they didn’t destroy whole industries because the recall could be constrained to specific lot numbers. Bruce theorized that if the produce trade could accurately trace any problems to specific lots, recalls would still happen, but their impact on the industry would be minimized.
When PMA went to work on the issue, it was Gary Fleming, then the Vice President of Industry Technology and Standards at PMA, who put the project together. We spoke with Gary many times, including these:
Gary Fleming Speaks Out:Produce Traceability Series Part 1: ‘Absent Of PTI’
Guest Pundit — Traceability And The Need For A Common Language
Guest Pundit — Pairing The Global Language With Technology
Guest Pundit: Traceability — A Forgotten Piece Of Food Safety
Pundit’s Mailbag — Traceability
Pundit’s Mailbag — Joint Response To Produce Traceability Cost Concerns
Now Gary is President and CEO of a relatively new company called ASAP Audits & Inspections. We wrote about his launch in Pundit sister publication PerishableNews.com, where the piece was titled, New Company Brings Automation to the Audits & Inspections Process.
The company is trying to position itself on the leading edge of a new generation of audit tools, all designed to both speed up and make auditing more efficient and use the same tools to enrich the results. Here is the vision:
For those conducting audits and inspections to not only capture data electronically, but to use the power of a computer to provide analytics, define patterns, mitigate risks and ensure compliance across multiple sites, multiple audits or multiple inspections… all at the push of a button. To integrate and facilitate the exchange of information between entities and their trading partners, including government, third party auditors, and supply chain members.
Gary has always been generous with his time in trying to educate the industry on this important issue. We wish him the best of luck in his latest venture.