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Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council members agree the industry needs to stay on course with PTI implementations based on the use of standardized product identification with batch/lot numbers encoded in GS1-128 barcodes on case labels for improved traceability and precise recall preparedness.
The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, held its semiannual meeting last week in conjunction with FMI Connect and United Fresh 2014 in Chicago.
“The PTI Leadership Council continues to encourage companies large and small in the produce industry to follow PTI best practices,” said Mike Agostini, senior category director, produce, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council. “In just seven months of PTI implementation at Wal-Mart, we have seen significant increases in PTI case labels on products, and we are already seeing important benefits in supply chain efficiencies resulting from our implementation.”
The council also emphasized that the critical elements necessary to ensuring that the vision of PTI is fully realized includes industry-wide adoption of the use of Advance Ship Notice, an electronic data interchange transaction (EDI) for exchanging traceability data, and outbound recording of the GS1-128 barcode data on cases of produce from distribution centers to retail stores and foodservice operations.
In related council news, updates to the PTI website have been completed to better organize the tools and resources available to industry members in support of PTI implementations. In addition, council members agreed to share their implementation challenges and success stories via the Initiative’s website at www.producetraceability.org to drive activities and continue the PTI momentum for both the grower/packer/shipper and buyer communities.
Sponsored by Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association, PTI is designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future.