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Within five years, retailers will use traceability systems to build consumer confidence about food safety. And food processors and suppliers that can't comply will have difficulty staying in business. That's the prediction of Dennis O'Connor, chief operating officer of that has signed a partnership agreement with Intentia, the e-collaboration solutions company.

Intentia has built a large, world-wide customer base in the food and beverage markets. And according to John Gledhill, head of the company's food and beverage application centre, "this is an opportunity to cement that leadership by offering a fully integrated, collaborative solution for the supply chain that will directly address the traceability issue".

He says the solution will integrate business and process automation systems. And it includes Intentia's internet-enabled ERP backbone, and the enterprise quality management (EQM) and laboratory information (LIMS) system from Qualtrace.

Gledhill adds that the food safety issue has to be propelled to the top of the industry's agenda. "Essentially, the issue is about the 'health of the nation'. It's in everyone's interests, consumers, retailers, producers and suppliers alike, to share responsibility for putting pressure on governments to ensure we have common standards across Europe and globally."

O'Connor speaks as a recognised authority in this area. His company is one of a handful that specialises in traceability systems. "What was once a 'nice to have' will become a 'must have'. Retailers will see this as an opportunity to build confidence among their customers by actively encouraging them to ask for the source of products and information about ingredients. And they will demand instant and verifiable answers."

Further information: (Intentia) James Kirkcaldy +44 (0)7976 703560

(Qualtrace) Dennis O'Connor +353 21 491 2158

Intentia is the e-collaboration solutions' company. The e-collaboration application includes the enterprise application as the backbone, customer relationship management (CRM), partner relationship management (PRM), supply chain planning and execution (SCP&E) and business performance measurement (BPM), all enabled and supported by e-business. Intentia is also a leading supplier of collaborative trading portals and corporate portals.
Intentia operates in 40 countries and has 3800 employees. Revenues in 2000 exceeded $372 million. It focuses primarily on the manufacturing and distribution markets, and the e-collaboration application has been developed for nine key industries: food and beverage, automotive, apparel, distribution, furniture, MRO, paper, service and rental, and steel. Intentia has more than 3500 customers including Canon, Alfa Laval,, Hagemeyer, Baxi, Ikea, Cummins, Kerrygold, Newell, SKF, Sara Lee group companies.

Intentia web site:

Since 1986 Qualtrace Solutions has specialised in designing and implementing flexible, scalable quality control and process manufacturing solutions for the life science industries including dairy, food, beverage, pharmaceutical and health care. A common feature of all QualTrace systems is an innovative focus on the quality control demands of its target industries and the guarantee of full traceability from raw material intake, through in-process to finished goods, storage and dispatch to the customer.

The company's flagship product - Qualtrace EQM - is a fully integrated suite of Enterprise Quality Management (EQM) modules designed in direct response to market demand and the increased legislative drive for product traceability, management and control. It tracks and integrates from source to finished product and manages quality throughout the entire manufacturing process by combining quality data with all other operational areas. It uses real-time validation to ensure compliance with quality procedures, guarantee full backward and forward traceability and maintain the integrity of the traceability chain.

In February this year, Qualtrace Solutions raised IEP 3 million/Euro 3.8 million to finance sales and delivery in export markets. There are plans to increase the workforce to 100 over the next three years and Qualtrace has just completed a move to larger premises to facilitate the recruitment of an additional 17 people in 2001. Revenues grew 32% in 2000. Revenue growth in 2001 is expected to exceed 100%. This will be achieved by branching out into new markets. Qualtrace uses a direct sales model in Ireland and the UK and has just opened its first office in Britain. To tap into the huge potential for business in European and US markets, it intends to use a network of partners.

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