Retailers, Wholesalers and Suppliers Support Standardized Recall Notification System

Arlington, VA — Sept. 21, 2009 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and GS1 US today announced the launch of Rapid Recall Exchange, an online service to enable prompt and accurate information exchange between retailers/wholesalers and suppliers about food and product recalls and withdrawals. It replaces an existing recall system, the Product Recall Portal, by improving ease of use and adding significant capabilities.

“Rapid Recall Exchange represents industry consensus that a standardized product recall system is critical to enhancing effective communication. It is a system designed by the industry and for the industry, which applies best practices and critical insight and expertise from industry partners and associations,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and chief executive officer.

“This will benefit the public as well as the companies that use it,” said Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 US. “It employs the same GS1 global standards that these companies already use to identify their products, stock their shelves, and accelerate checkouts. Its ease of use and extensive functionality can improve the speed and accuracy of recalls, which we all want.”

     Rapid Recall Exchange complements existing recall practices, complies with the requirements of the FDA Reportable Food Registry, and features:

  • Secure user-authentication

  • Two-way messaging between trading partners

  • Internet access anywhere, anytime

  • Email alerts about new information

  • Comprehensive, prioritized information with U.P.C. bar codes and product images for easy identification

  • Verification of notification

  • Universal notification of Class 1 recalls

  • Targeted notification to specific customers

  • Consistent, reliable communications

  • Standardized forms, processes and instructions applying industry best practices

     The system also allows suppliers to send targeted information to retailers and wholesalers to provide specific information on how to remove recalled or withdrawn products and handle them safely, as well as address reimbursement requirements.

GMA and N.G.A. Support Rapid Recall Exchange

Rapid Recall Exchange is supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and National Grocers Association (N.G.A.).

     “Manufacturers are eager to work closely with retailers and wholesalers to facilitate information exchange, especially during the urgent time of a product recall. We are pleased to support this unique tool that will help protect consumers by providing critical product information directly to those who can act on it quickly,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of GMA.

“N.G.A. is encouraged with the progress and direction of the Rapid Recall Exchange. This is a critical initiative for our industry that requires leadership and proven solutions on such an important consumer issue. Additionally, we are pleased to be working with FMI, GMA, GS1 US and soon other associations to strengthen our product recall process,” said Tom Zaucha, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association.

Subscriptions to Rapid Recall Exchange

All companies already participating in the FMI Product Recall Portal will automatically receive Rapid Recall Exchange subscriptions. The current subscriber list includes 8 wholesalers, 45 retailers (representing 157 banners, 11,076 stores and more than $209 billion in sales) and 40 manufacturers (representing more than $300 billion in annual revenues).

Rapid Recall Exchange is available for a nominal fee to cover operating expenses. To encourage quick and widespread adoption of the system, FMI and GS1 US are offering free trial subscriptions to retailers and wholesalers that sign up by Oct. 30. The trial period runs through Dec. 31, 2009.
More information is available at

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Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies - food retailers and wholesalers - in the United States and around the world. FMI's U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. Their combined annual sales volume of $680 billion represents three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the United States. FMI's retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from more than 50 countries. FMI's associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members. For more information, please visit the FMI website:

GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the adoption and implementation of standards-based, global supply-chain solutions. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, and traceability of their goods moving around the world. They achieve these benefits through GS1 US solutions based on GS1 global unique- numbering and identification systems, bar codes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US operates the subsidiaries and brands 1SYNC™; BarCodes and eCom™; EPCglobal US™; GS1 Healthcare US; and RosettaNet. It also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC®) for the UNDP.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) represents the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. The Association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth and helps to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence. The GMA board of directors is comprised of chief executive officers from the Association’s member companies. The $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry employs 14 million workers, and contributes over $1 trillion in added value to the nation’s economy. For more information, visit the GMA Web site at

National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. Most independent operators are serviced by wholesale distributors, while others may be partially or fully self-distributing. Some are publicly traded but with controlling shares held by the family and others are employee owned. Independents are the true “entrepreneurs” of the grocery industry and dedicated to their customers, associates, and communities. N.G.A. members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about N.G.A. and the independent sector of the industry, see the N.G.A. website: