Rapid Recall Exchange enjoys fast growth as retailers and food suppliers sign on

Diverse companies embrace service’s capabilities and reach

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 23, 2010) – More than 500 food retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers have subscribed to Rapid Recall Exchange, an online service introduced by major grocery associations and a standards organization one year ago this week.

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and GS1 US developed the service to improve on recall notification methods such as e-mail and faxes, which have limited capabilities and are inconsistent and labor-intensive. The service is also supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the National Grocers Association (N.G.A.).

Rapid Recall Exchange enables retailers, wholesalers and suppliers to quickly and efficiently exchange information about food and product recalls and withdrawals.

Publix Super Markets, Inc., is one of 100 major retailers that have adopted Rapid Recall Exchange as an integral part of their product-recall strategies and processes. The Florida-based chain has been encouraging its suppliers to join since the service was first developed.

“Rapid Recall Exchange is the most fully featured recall service available, and we would like even more manufacturers to use it,” said Michael Roberson, director of Corporate Quality Assurance for Publix. “Ideally it should be the industry’s primary source for recall communications, so we want and need adoption by the vast majority of our suppliers.”

Rapid Recall Exchange complies with the requirements of the FDA Reportable Food Registry, and features: secure user-authentication; two-way messaging between trading partners; anywhere, anytime Internet access; e-mail and text alerts; comprehensive information on recalled products, with product images for easy identification; and verification of notification, so recalling firms can be sure their trading partners have critical information.

“The fast and wide adoption of Rapid Recall Exchange demonstrates that companies need a standardized, more efficient process for handling product recalls,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and chief executive officer. “We welcome additional subscribers, so they too will benefit from industry collaboration. In the end, it’s all about retailers and suppliers improving the recall process and keeping the food supply safe for our customers.”   

The four not-for-profit organizations operate the service on a cost-recovery basis, enabling nominal subscription fees that are tiered for companies of all sizes.

“With food safety a priority issue for both consumers and the industry, we are working to make product recalls faster and more comprehensive while making sure the information reaches all retailers regardless of their size," said Bob Carpenter, president and CEO of GS1 US. “Five hundred subscribers in a year is a great start, and we’ll continue to increase this number and enhance the service in the interest of business efficiency and consumer safety.”

“Consumer safety is the number one priority of food and consumer product manufacturers,” said GMA President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey. “The growth of Rapid Recall Exchange demonstrates that GMA member companies are embracing it as a valuable tool in their vast portfolio to better serve consumers and protect public health.”

More information is available at www.rapidrecallexchange.org.

About GS1 US™
GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through GS1 US solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, barcodes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®). www.GS1US.org   

About GMA
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year. For more information please visit www.gmaonline.org.

About N.G.A.
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: www.NationalGrocers.org.

Media Contacts:
Jon Mellor, GS1 US