At Purdue University's National Conference for Food and Agribusiness, speakers presented results of the University’s research study analyzing what data is collected across the food value chain, how it’s shared, and to what extent it is used to make strategic decisions. The study focused on five levels of the value chain: (1) Ag Input Manufacturers, (2) Ag Retailers, (3) Farmers, (4) First Handlers/Food Processors, (5) Food Manufacturers, and (6) Food Retailers. The event included panel discussions with representatives from each part of the value chain discussing trends they’re experiencing.
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For industrial-scale food producers, staying compliant with a patchwork of state, federal, and international regulations is challenging. The State of Alabama requires commercial manufacturing operations like Mar-Jac to maintain National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) certification on their weighing and measuring instruments. Not only do the scales and other hardware devices themselves need to be certified, but the software reading data from these devices must also conform to the standards of the National Conference on Weights and Measures, ensuring the manufacturer’s data is accurate.
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March 2017 marks the one-year anniversary of USDA regulatory oversight of the catfish industry. The industry is one year into an 18-month transition period as FSIS implements their inspection process. There is much speculation as to the future of such regulations under the new administration, but many catfish producers have already invested in the infrastructure necessary for compliance.