CAST and IFT Collaborate on Traceability Issue Paper to Help Improve Food Safety and Security in the Food and Agricultural Community

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 28, 2023 – The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)  and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) released an issue paper today which examines traceability fundamentals including the development and use of various technologies to enhance food safety, source transparency, and consumer confidence. With an increased interest on food traceability around the globe including a focus on complying with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s end-to-end traceability mandate for food and agricultural products, the issue paper is intended as a foundational resource for stakeholders across industry, academia, government agencies and trade associations.

The issue paper explores the technological infrastructure underlying food traceability platforms while touching on the history of those platforms, the current state of technology, ongoing U.S. food traceability initiatives, as well as the future of commercial scale deployment.

Robert Gravani, PhD, professor emeritus, Cornell University, and former Board President of IFT, served as publication Task Force Chair.

“With the increase in the size, scope, and complexity of the global food supply chain, the ability to track and trace foods and ingredients through the system quickly and efficiently is of paramount importance,” said Gravani. “It is a perfect time for all supply chain partners to implement a well-organized, systematic, and interoperable end-to-end traceability system to improve food safety, quality, national origin, authenticity, and sustainability.”

Bryan Hitchcock, Chief Science and Technology Officer for IFT, added: “The effectiveness of any traceability system is based on the quality of data collected, and emerging tools and technologies offer significant opportunity to improve that digital data and help create a safer food supply. Everyone from consumers and food producers to distributors, retailers, and food safety regulators have been demanding improved traceability for years and now, through scientific and technological advancements, food traceability can become a reality.”

To download the issue paper, click here or go to

About Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) is a nonprofit organization with its membership composed of scientific and professional societies, companies, nonprofits, and individuals. Through its network of experts, CAST assembles, interprets, and communicates credible, balanced, science-based information to policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public. The primary work of CAST is the publication of papers highly regarded as a source of science-based information written and reviewed by volunteer scientists and subject experts from many disciplines. CAST is funded through membership dues, unrestricted financial gifts, and grants. For more information, please visit  

About Institute of Food Technologists

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of approximately 12,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. IFT works to ensure that its members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. IFT believes that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit or

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