FoodLink Reports Fourth Consecutive Year of Growth

FoodLink reported a fourth consecutive year of record growth in 2013. The company signed more than 40 new produce traceability customers, enabled record levels of network commerce and was named the industry’s best new food safety solution.

“This was a strong year for FoodLink, and for our customers,” says Eric Peters, president and CEO, FoodLink. “It is encouraging to see so many companies in this industry beginning to realize the tremendous value that can be unlocked within their fresh supply chain, and to begin using data from the field to the store to bring safe, fresh food to market and better serve their customers.”

Network Commerce

New customers in 2013 contributed to an increase in purchase order (PO) volume and trading partner connections between buyers and sellers over the FoodLink network.

  • 166 new suppliers signed up for annual subscriptions.
  • Overall network traffic increased with more than 370 new supplier-buyer relationships.
  • Orders for fresh produce increased by 43% over the previous year.
  • More than 230,000 items were promoted across the new FoodLink Deals platform.

Produce Traceability

In 2013, FoodLink consolidated its leadership position in the growing market for produce traceability (PTI) solutions with both case and item-level tracking products. FoodLink’s suite of PTI solutions enables growers and shippers to track the origins and movement of fresh food through the supply chain, and to comply with new food safety regulations while supporting consumer demand for more information about the source and freshness of their food.

In 2013, FoodLink traceability solutions:

  • Labeled and monitored more than 100 million cases of fresh produce;
  • Provided consumers with source data on more than 92 million fresh items in the store;
  • Activated more than 200 mobile devices for harvest crew operations;
  • Integrated with leading high speed packaging and printing providers such as Pactiv, Emerald Packaging and Sambrailo Packaging.

In March, FoodLink Item was voted best new food safety solution by the members of the United Fresh Produce Association. FoodLink Item provides smartphone-scannable labels and related supply chain data on packaged produce in the store, enabling consumers to discover the source of any product down to the lot level.

“We did a deep dive into the leading PTI solutions including field pilots,” says Peter Townsend, IT director and evangelist, The Nunes Co. “FoodLink stood out with its simple licensing model, inexpensive cost and mature ERP integration tools. The team has been fantastic to work with and deployment has been as smooth as it gets. I’m conversant with the cloud-hosted trace and analytics technology platform model and FoodLink offers a robust solution.”

New Customers

FoodLink signed more than 40 new PTI customers in 2013, including Dole Fresh Vegetables, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Dulcinea Farms, Gourmet Trading Co., NewStar Fresh Foods, Ocean Mist Farms, Sun Belle, Sun World International, Tanimura & Antle, The Nunes Co. and Wuhl Shafman Lieberman.

In addition, a record number of suppliers signed up for FoodLink DirectConnect, a service that directly integrates back-end inventory and operational systems with the FoodLink network. New DirectConnect customers include Paramount Farms, Country Fresh, Inc., Ippolito Fruit & Produce, Smithfield Foods, Ocean Spray Cranberries and Earthbound Farm.

New retail customers in 2013 include BJ’s Wholesale Club. FoodLink also expanded business with Ahold USA, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Topco Associates, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Roundy’s Supermarkets and Unified Grocers, and added new electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities to enable suppliers on the network to directly transact with high volume buyers such as Wakefern and Costco.

“Produce is an increasingly important category for our club members, and we are always looking for ways to provide high quality products at a value,” says Jeff Desroches, senior vice president, director of logistics, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “FoodLink will help us improve supply chain visibility into market data and enable us to work closely with our suppliers to better meet the needs of our members.”

FoodLink is an integrated suite of cloud-based applications and data services that address critical food safety, operations and sales priorities across the perishable goods supply chain. The network consists of more than 2,000 retail grocers and their fresh food suppliers, including growers, shippers, carriers, third-party brokers and wholesalers. FoodLink helps retailers manage the fresh food category while providing a total sales and traceability platform for suppliers.

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