Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Releases Traceability Guidance

An industry group, comprised of several U.S. dairy processors and cooperatives, has been working on behalf of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy with other U.S. processors to gain a better understanding of the variety of approaches being used for traceability. This work led to the identification and definition of traceability practices for the dairy industry and a new Guidance Document, which the Innovation Center released last week as a draft for industry comment.

The document, “Guidance for Dairy Product Enhanced Traceability: Voluntary Practices, Protocols for Strengthening the U.S. Dairy Supply Chain,” reflects the results of the year-long pilot study. The group created benchmarks and minimum recommendations for voluntary enhanced traceability processes, a set of preferred practices and the prospective benefits of adoption to the entire supply chain.

The document is intended to help managers and supervisors at both corporate and plant levels to create and maintain a traceability program that will satisfy future traceability requirements that may be demanded by customers or derived from recommendations made by the Food and Drug Administration to Congress under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). It also will help companies align their traceability records to aid in recall audits.

According to the Innovation Center, the guidance has been tested by U.S. dairy processors of various sizes and sectors such as fluid milk, cheeses, nonfat dried milk and whey powder.

The comment period will run through March 15. Members who want to comment on the document may send their remarks to Vikki Nicholson, senior vice president of global marketing at the U.S. Dairy Export Council, at

For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at